Nature’s Greatest Asset
Cuba boasts a program for the development of Natural and Traditional Medicine, regarded as just another alternative of its scientific-technical progress
Cuba is a country where natural and traditional medicine is embraced as just another alternative of the scientific-technical progress from the skill set and experience of hundreds of specialists and masters' acknowledged by the World Health Organization. This is an activity with an upward development since the 1960s and has several regulated therapeutic modalities among which stand out acupuncture and related techniques, herbal medicine, apitherapy, medical hydrology, flower therapy, and ozone therapy. To address this subject in depth, we talked to Dr. Evelyn Anie González Pla, chairwoman of the Cuban Scientific Society of Natural and Traditional Medicine. How can Cuba, from Natural and Traditional Medicine, contribute to the improvement of both health and life quality? "Cuba boasts the strength of its National Health Care System, which includes Natural and Traditional Medicine as a medical specialty, with eleven regulated therapeutic modalities to implement in the country. “Besides, it widely develops other specialties and health care services allowing the inclusion of these treatments for a preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitation approach to a significant number of diseases". What are Cuba’s potentials to foster the scientific development of this activity? "The Cuban archipelago, with its tropical climate, is very rich in medicinal plants and has significant hydrothermal resources, beaches, and beautiful landscapes, which are attached to other activities related to life quality programs on the basis of a rich natural environment. "Regarding human resources and installed capacities, there are physicians who specialize in Traditional and Natural Medicine as well as other professionals and technicians in related specialties, involved in the research and use of these treatments in the medical care. "In addition to this, the existing health care facilities in Cuba offer services and consultations of Natural and Traditional Medicine in its three-tiered structure”. Which natural products are labeled as very attractive, innovative, and effective in order to promote the Cuban Medical Services? "No doubt, the Cuban natural products developed by the industry and, potentially, those made by local medicinal production centers. “Some, like Policosanol and medical devices like the ozone generator for medical use (Ozomed-plus), both developed and marketed by CNIC (National Center for Scientific Research), have been exported to other markets, including Australia, Japan, and South Korea". Is Natural and Traditional Medicine regarded in Cuba as just another option of our scientific-technical development? "There is currently a Sectoral Natural and Traditional Medicine Research Program, coordinated by the Ministry of Public Health, with 30 active projects in 2021. “BioCubaFarma coordinates among its top priorities the Development Program of Natural Products, which paves the way for the research and development processes of these sorts of medicines and nutritional supplements".