By Loipa Araujo Hernández / Radio Cadena Agramonte.
In the second half of October, Cuba highlights two dates that, even when they seem alien due to the nature of their origin and significance, are closely linked.
The first, purely political, marks the beginning on October 18, 1960 of the United States blockade against the Island; the second, sensitive and humane, calls for awareness in the fight against breast cancer on the 19th.
However, as different as the two events may seem, one has been a dent for the other. It is enough to review the millionaire statistics and human damage caused by the economic siege of the Island, which has one of its main targets in the health sector.
Among the fundamental affectations are those directed to Cuban oncology. Not a few Cubans diagnosed with cancer do not have access to drugs and pharmaceutical components capable of counteracting tumors and other manifestations of the disease, because the blockade prevents their acquisition.
This hostile policy also hinders the purchase of technologies, raw materials, reagents, diagnostic means, and spare parts and equipment, since they must be obtained in distant markets, often through intermediaries, which significantly increases their prices.
Breast cancer is usually an aggressive disease, which each year claims the lives of more than a thousand women in the Greater Antilles; the treatment of this condition is painful, extended in time and leaves traces for a lifetime.
However, although the incidence in Cuba is 34 per hundred thousand people, it can be assured that the survival rate is high, since it exceeds 80% after five years of contracting the disease.
Even when the Cuban state allocates considerable resources and efforts to health, it is a painful reality that for almost 60 years the US blockade has tried by all means to promote diseases and vicissitudes in the Cuban people. In just one year, for example, the impact of this policy has been such that the damage figures amount to more than one hundred million dollars.
When this October the world focuses its efforts on raising awareness, early detection, treatment and palliative care for breast cancer, it is also fair to raise our voice against the hostile policy of the United States government against Cuba, as they do every year around this date hundreds of friends from the world. Because this Island, contrary to what they want to show, is not alone. (Photo: File)