Cuba and the United States Cooperate on Infectious Diseases in a Meeting in Havana

This type of meeting has been taking place since 2016, as part of an agreement on health matters. (Archivo)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 24 March 2023 — Health officials from Cuba and the United States met in Havana to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against infectious diseases, including COVID-19, the Ministry of Public Health of the Island reported on Thursday.

The meeting was part of what was agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016 by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to a statement.

Cuba reported that both parties agreed to “continue working on the implementation of the Memorandum.”

Specifically, they advocated “promoting technical exchanges related to research on arbovirosis (a group of diseases caused by viruses transmitted by arthropods), experiences of COVID-19 and other related topics.”

The visitors, members of the HHS and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), met with specialists from the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) of Cuba, as well as directors and scientists from the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and the state pharmaceutical group BioCubaFarma.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Public Health, Carilda Peña García, and the director of the Global Research Office of the IAID, Joyelle Kalei Dominique, according to the official report.

Despite the fact that Washington has on numerous occasions cooled the expectations of the Cuban side for a reissue of the thaw, the technical meetings have not stopped being held. They even continued during Donald Trump’s term.

At the beginning of March, the trip of Cuban officials to the United States unleashed a wave of protests among Republican politicians who rejected these meetings for security reasons. However, the Administration argued that the meeting was part of the International Port Security Program and that they have taken place in recent years, including, most recently, in 2019.

In November 2022, US officials traveled to Havana to hold a meeting on immigration, during which the Cuban side “highlighted areas of successful cooperation on migration, while identifying problems that have been obstacles to meeting the objectives of the Agreement.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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