Cooperation Project Enhances Pharmaceutical Capabilities in Havana – A joint project between the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Cuba, with funding from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (FCIL-Canada), has successfully improved the capabilities of Havana’s Reference Center for Natural Products. The project aimed to enhance training and meet the growing demands of the population.
The results of the project were presented during a meeting held at the Reference Center, which coincided with the celebration of Pharmacist’s Day under the theme “Strengthening health systems with pharmacists.” Among the attendees were key figures such as Johan Perdomo, Head of the Department of Natural and Traditional Medicine of MINSAP, and Sonia Pérez, Deputy Director of the Havana Pharmacy Company.
During the opening remarks, Perdomo emphasized that natural and traditional medicine is recognized in Cuba as an integrative specialty, contributing not only to diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation but also to health promotion and disease prevention. He also highlighted the significance of collaborations with the pharmaceutical sector and other stakeholders.
Roxana González, a consultant from PAHO/WHO, highlighted the achievements of the project. Thanks to the collaboration, the Reference Center received new equipment, including furniture, laboratory glassware, and technological equipment. These acquisitions have greatly improved the production of safe and effective drugs, ensuring compliance with good manufacturing practices and quality control. The Center was also provided with a well-equipped classroom for teaching activities and workshops on health-related topics.
Michael Machun, the Political Secretary and Director of FCIL-Canada, expressed the importance of cooperation initiatives like this, as they directly contribute to the well-being of the population and support vital sectors of Cuban society. He commended the parties involved in the project’s development and acknowledged the significant participation of women in the field of pharmacy.
The Director of the Reference Center, Ivon Quintana, expressed gratitude on behalf of all staff members for the benefits provided by the project. She invited attendees to explore the different areas of the institution where the acquired supplies will be put to use.
It is worth noting that this collaboration between PAHO/WHO and FCIL-Canada is not the first of its kind. Previous initiatives focused on gender and health promotion, particularly in the context of COVID-19, aiming to promote self-care and collective care in schools.
The successful completion of the project highlights the importance of international cooperation in strengthening healthcare systems and meeting the growing demands of the population. With continued support from organizations like PAHO/WHO and FCIL-Canada, Cuba’s pharmaceutical institutions can further enhance their capabilities and ensure the well-being of their citizens.