HPIC active in Cuba

Cuban baby being cared for with medicines and supplies from Canada

In 2003, HPIC launched a five-year program with the Cuban Ministry of Health (MINSAP) and the Cuban Ministry of International Cooperation to contribute to the prevention and treatment of primary health issues in Cuba and to increase capacity within the Cuban healthcare system to meet the needs of its population. The program has been funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). HPIC had already been working with partners in Cuba since 1995.

Working with healthcare industry partners, HPIC provided a total of $19 million of medicines and vaccines over the five year period, exceeding original estimates of $15 million.

The Multi-Year Health Sector Program to Cuba has allowed that country to reinvest dollars saved through donations into other essential areas of its healthcare system to improve the health of its citizens. In addition to medicines the program included the shipment of ten 40-foot containers of medical equipment and supplies, doubling the original projected amount.

HPIC also assisted in the reorganization of the main MINSAP distribution warehouse. This project was so successful that MINSAP intends to use this as a model for its other warehouses across the island nation.

The program also generated new contacts at high levels between Cubans and Canadian industry partners. This has led to a more favourable climate for commercial ventures with Cuba, increasing its capacity to negotiate on the world market, thereby improving its ability to meet the health needs of its population.

HPIC partners in the Cuba program have included AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Covidien, GlaxoSmithKline, Hoffmann-LaRoche, , Paladin, Pharmascience, Sanofi Aventis, and Sanofi-Pasteur.

HPIC is currently exploring the feasibility of a new three to five-year program with both Cuban officials and CIDA.