The WHO said in a statement that an international delegation that it and the Pan American Health Organization sent to Cuba in March determined the country met the criteria for the designation. In 2013, only two children in Cuba were born with HIV and five with syphilis, the statement said.
“Cuba’s success demonstrates that universal access and universal health coverage are feasible and indeed are the key to success, even against challenges as daunting as HIV,” PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said in the statement.
Cuba’s Communist government considers its free healthcare a major achievement of the 1959 revolution, although ordinary Cubans complain of a decline in standards since the fall of the Soviet Union, the country’s former benefactor, in 1991.
The PAHO and WHO credited Cuba with offering women early access to prenatal care, HIV and syphilis testing, and treatment for mothers who test positive. The two organizations began an effort to end congenital transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba and other countries in the Americas in 2010.
miracle teen becomes FIRST to win battle against HIV
Leading medics said the medical miracle provides proof that it is possible for people with the virus to achieve long-term remission.
It has also raised hopes of finding a cure for the killer disease, which claims 750,000 lives a year worldwide.
The girl, now 18, was born with HIV after inheriting the disease from her mother during pregnancy.
She was on an intensive course of retroviral drugs until she was nearly six years old, but has lived without treatment for 12 years and is now testing negative for the virus.
Scientists stunned by her progress are now calling for wider studies to see if others living with HIV can be taken off retroviral drugs. It costs £18,000 per year to treat a person with HIV and the drugs can have unpleasant side-effects.
Earth’s weakening ‘magnetic shield’ could see life WIPED OUT as skin cancer levels soar
This natural shield reaches thousands of miles into space and also has an affect on weather patterns and global communication systems.
But yesterday’s blast and more that are prediced are not expected to reach us due to our planet’s magnetic field.
A European Space Agency mission, now at the end of the first of its four-year programme, has concluded the Earth’s magnetosphere is losing strength.
A spokesman for the agency said: “Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field’s weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere.
“This will provide new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside our planet to space weather triggered by solar activity. In turn, this information will yield a better understanding of why the magnetic field is weakening.”
Researchers have warned if it weakens further or were completely eroded away, radiation levels reaching our planet’s surface would double – leading to a huge spike in deaths from skin cancer.