Response to ‘Cuban infant mortality and longevity: health care or repression?’

International journalists and public health researchers have consistently applauded Cuba’s health programmes since the transformation of the Island’s economy to a state-run socialist model in the early 1960s. Economic barriers to health care appear to have been eliminated, large numbers of primary care physicians have been trained and deployed all over the world, and vector control efforts on the island have been militarized to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The results of these policies certainly appear impressive. Since 1959 Cuba has reported consistent improvement in key indicators such as infant mortality and longevity, and these numbers are now comparable those of much wealthier countries. Cuba also appears to have been spared debilitating epidemics of cholera and other emerging infections that have afflicted nearby countries like Haiti and the Dominican Republic in recent years.

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