Advances in pediatrics and child care in Cuba, 1959-1974
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This article describes the major activities carried out since 1959 in the field of pediatrics and child care in Cuba. In particular, it notes the improvements made through establishment of a national health system and through the participation of community organizations (the Federation of Cuban Women, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, associations of small farmers, and trade unions) and shows how perinatal, infant, and childhood mortality have been significantly reduced. As of 1973 perinatal mortality had fallen to 27.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, infant mortality to 27.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, preschool mortality to 1.2 per 1,000 children, and school-age mortality, to 0.4 per 1,000 children. This report also cites data on available physical and manpower resources, and outlines a large range of activities linked to a Comprehensive Child Care Program undertaken in 1967. This program, in which newborns are enrolled upon leaving the maternity, seeks to encourage breast-feeding, to promote the activities of well-baby clinics, to provide special examinations for malnourished infants, to provide health care for preschool and school-age children, to promote pediatric medical visits to the home, to assist with camps for asthmatic and diabetic children, to provide pediatric services at pioneer and other camps for schoolchildren, to carry out health education activities, and to combat communicable disease. In particular, activites to prevent communicable disease appear responsible for a good part of the progress achieved to date. As a result of these activities malaria and diphtheria have been eradicated, poliomyelitis has been overcome, and the incidences of tuberculosis, tuberculous meningitis, tetanus (among both newborns and children under 15), and acute diarrheal disease have been substantially reduced (Au)
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