Cuba's Jewel of Tropical Medicine

Walter Lippmann walterlx at
Fri Sep 5 07:29:04 MDT 2003

(This is one of the most important and
detailed articles I have seen providing
facts and explanations on Cuba's big
committment to biotechnology and its
place in the larger project known as
the Cuban Revolution. You can see
from this how an institution which is
completely dedicated to the developing
of vaccines and diseases internationally
contributes to the betterment of humanity.

Problem-solving, not money-making, are
the keys to this remarkable operation.

(As this Harvard University-based journal
explains, the island is already a world-class
player in this arena. Accomplishments like
this have the potential, it seems to me, to
break the blockade completely. This also
helps you understand why Washington is
so firmly committed to attacking Cuba in
this remarkable arena. Read this story
carefully and pass it on widely, please.)

Perspectives in Health Magazine 
The Magazine of the Pan
American Health Organization 
Volume 8, Number 2, 2003

Cuba’s Jewel of Tropical Medicine 
by Annmarie Christensen

The Pedro Kourí Institute, founded in 1937, has evolved
into a world-class player in the global fight against
tropical and infectious diseases.

A turnoff at kilometer 6 of Havana’s Novia del Mediodía
("Noontime Bride") highway leads through the gates of the
Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), one of
Cuba’s institutional crown jewels. Inside the modern
10-building complex, the island’s top medical scientists
carry out research in more than a dozen fields, from
biotechnology to treatment of HIV/AIDS.

In his office, the institute’s director, Gustavo P. Kourí,
receives a visitor with a smile that brightens his chiseled
face. On the wall behind him are myriad international and
national commendations received by him and his institute
over the years, including his most recent prized
possession, a medal from the Vatican.


Kourí also views his mission in these larger terms.
"Considering the risk of introduction of exotic diseases in
Cuba, our government decided to strengthen the institute
and increase our surveillance. But at the same time, our
president declared that this center was not only for Cuba,
but also for humanity."

For Farmer, IPK represents an opportunity not to be missed.

"Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public
Health may well constitute the world’s largest
universitybased medical research complex," he explains. "If
we were to join forces with one of the developing world’s
premier research institutions to develop new tools to
control or treat these plagues, it would be, as Shakespeare
put it, ‘a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.’"

Annmarie Christensen is director of publications at the
Global Health Council in Vermont,USA. She reported this
story while visiting Cuba for the council in April.

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