This accomplishment is a result of the commitment of Cuba’s public health system to improve quality of life of patients suffering from chronic kidney failure, a disease which has increased considerably around the world, and Cuba is no exception.According to Dr. Milagros Hernández Fernández, transplant coordinator in the country’s central region, among the over 5,000 patients, only 458 received kidneys from live donors, indicating, in her opinion, the need to increase donations on the basis of a new regulation authorizing as possible donors a broader range of family members, including aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and spouses.

During the event, which brought together specialists from most of the country, it was noted that transplants are currently available in Havana, Camagüey, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba and Villa Clara, the province with the highest survival rate, above 80%, a result which compares favorably with those in developed countries. The national survival rate is 76.4%.

Dr. Hernández noted that internationally a kidney transplant can cost some 750,000 dollars, while the procedure is available free of charge in Cuba, costing the state an estimated $20,000, including post-surgery immunosuppressive medication, which is also provided at no charge.