Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Inaugurates Hemoderivative Plant

FL080211 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 8 Apr 88

[Reporters unidentified]

[Excerpts] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC
Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers,
today inaugurated the Aristides Viera Hemoderivatives Plant in Arroyo
Arenas in Havana.

Cuba will be among the largest producers in the world of hemoderivatives
when this plant is operating at full capacity.  It will produce 50,000
liters of frozen plasma annually during its first stage.  This will be used
in producing medication, therapeutic albumin, and several types of gamma

The plasma and its by-products are extensively analyzed to avoid
contamination by viruses such as AIDS and Hepatitis B.  [passage omitted]

The commander in chief later spoke to journalists about this important
scientific center.

[Begin recording][Castro] The plant is very sophisticated.  It reminds me a
little of the electronic component plant in Pinar del Rio because there are
places here where they have to work (?where it's empty), [words indistinct]
the products, put them in containers.  There are others who have to do this
work in totally sterile conditions in what we can call production halls,
workshops.  They are constructed in a certain way and use a particular
procedure to guarantee sterility in their work and for their personnel.

The center is impressive because of the complexity of the process.  The
ogranization and quality of the personnel, the scientists, is also

[First reporter, interrupting] [Words indistinct]

[Castro] The staff is not just composed of women; there are also some men
in the scientific area.  However, in the laboratory production area, the
professional staff is basically composed of women.  The personnel are well
trained.  Above all, they are enthusiastic and dedicated to their work,
which is more important than training... [corrects himself] just as
important.  It is an indispensable complement to training.

[Second reporter] Will the plant be linked to the largest blood bank that
is currently under construction in the country?

[Castro] It will be linked to that one but it will certainly be linked to

[Several people speak simultaneously] I will be linked to all the blood

[Castro] The plant will be linked to all of them.

I was told that certain conditions have to be established in the blood
banks for some of the products that will be manufactured here.

They told me about a production for hemophiliacs.  It is very important.
This product requires certain conditions for manufacturing.  The blood has
to be frozen briefly, very briefly, at minus 30 degrees, or something like
that.  It requires a process of rapid freezing.  Even though it is a new
product, it has its requirements for the blood bank.  It has be be frozen
quickly and some extra work has to be done with it.  It is very complex but
very interesting.  [end recording]

Fidel, later referred to the progress of the rectification process.

[Begin Castro recording] I think that this is a long-term struggle.  There
are many things yet that have to be rectified, old and new things.  There
are thousands of things, for example, the problem of discrimination.  There
are hundreds or thousands of things to correct.  However, I think that a
number of things can be seen with regard to the first fruits of that
rectification process.

Everyone is working more seriously.  You can see it in all organizations.
You can see that the individuals, the officials, are much more dedicated in
the sugar, agriculture, and construction sectors, everywhere.  There are
many examples that become notable, not just in the capital, but also
throughout all the provinces.  [end recording]