After the initial rapprochement in 2014, several major U.S. outlets highlighted the country’s health care system, unique to the Third World, and one which, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “has solved some problems that ours has not yet managed to address.” Sound heretical? Not to those who have studied it.
Cuba, a country of 11 million people, has achieved health outcomes that are the envy of the Third World. It has one of the lowest infant and young child (under age 5) mortality rates and longest life expectancies in the Americas, outperforming the U.S. on all three of these indicators (although the maternal mortality rate is still considerably higher than that in rich countries). This year, Cuba also became the first nation in the world that, according to the World Health Organization, had eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. How has a Third World country, subjected to decades of economic sanctions, accomplished this?