Send to

Choose Destination
Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2018 Apr 24;42:e30. doi: 10.26633/RPSP.2018.30. eCollection 2018.

[Response capacity and challenges of the Cuban health system against communicable diseasesCapacidade de resposta e desafios do sistema de saúde cubano contra doenças transmissíveis].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Escuela Nacional de Salud Pública, La Habana, Cuba.
Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí, La Habana, Cuba.
Ministerio de Salud Pública, La Habana, Cuba.
Organización Panamericana de la Salud/Organización Mundial de la Salud (OPS/OMS), La Habana, Cuba.
Unidad de Promoción de Salud y Prevención de Enfermedades, La Habana, Cuba.


in English, Portuguese

This article presents distinctive and essential features in the transformations of the Cuban health system that have allowed the eradication and reduction of the incidence rates of some communicable diseases at levels lower than 0.1 per 100 000 inhabitants. The results obtained are a consequence of the importance given to the prevention and control, as well as to the risks and potential damages, of these diseases. The structure and functioning of the hygiene and epidemiology subsystem and its interrelations with the rest of the system, based on the different models of service provision, have been permanent integration scenarios for decision making. Diseases such as poliomyelitis, malaria, diphtheria, whooping cough, rubella, mumps, post-mumps meningitis, measles, yellow fever, cholera, severe forms of tuberculosis, human rabies transmitted by canines, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, vertical transmission of HIV, congenital syphilis and clinical forms such as neonatal tetanus and congenital rubella syndrome were eliminated. Some communicable diseases are analyzed in more detail and, in particular, the social response developed against tuberculosis, leprosy, AIDS and vector-borne diseases. However, the current health context presents challenges for the sustainability of the achievements made in the country. Assuring the maintenance of universal coverage with access of the Cuban population to health services will always be a principle of Cuban public health.


Cuba; Prevention and control; communicable diseases; strategies

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center