Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Further on Castro Inauguration of Blood Blank

FL2910042788 Havana Television Service in Spanish 1000 GMT 29 Oct 88

[Text]  Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, president of the Councils of State
and Ministers this afternoon inaugurated Havana City Province's teaching
blood bank.  This center will service patients from hospitals in the
western part of the country, other municipalities in the capital, and the
interior of the nation.  It will be capable of covering assistance
requirements for the next 30 years.

[Begin recording]  [Castro]  How many workers do you have here?

[Unidentified speaker]  Well, what happens is that Santiago...

[Castro, interrupting]  I want you to tell me how many.

[Speaker]  We have 130 workers.

[Castro]  Is that many

[Speaker]  I think so.

[Castro]  I want it reduced to 80.  Are they wandering around?

[Speaker] [Words indistinct]

[Castro]  Do you have workers engaged in multiple assignments?

[Speaker]  We have workers with multiple assignments; we have a wide

[Castro, interrupting]  For 100 donations, with 80 workers, we have a
worker per blood donor.

[Speaker]  No, but we... [changes thought]  Theoretically, the capacity is
200 donors.  That's in theory.  In reality, with some experience, we see
that we can even reach 350 donors.

[Castro]  Eighty workers [words indistinct].

[Speaker]  Commander, I think that we should make a tremendous effort to
get this institution working as it's...

[Castro, interrupting]  No, we have to make a tremendous effort to work
every day.  It looks like we have to make a tremendous effort to do at
least our daily work.

[Speaker]  No, no we...

[Castro, interrupting]  Don't defend them.  I'd like to see, if a
capitalist owned this blood bank, how many... [changes thought]  Of course,
assuming he doesn't mix the blood with water, dyes, or anything...

[Speaker, interrupting]  Of course.  We've even had visits from some
foreign specialists...

[Castro, interrupting]  From where?

[Speaker]  From the Soviet Union, from...

[Castro, interrupting]  They have more than we have here.  [Words
indistinct]  the Soviet Union and Hungary, [chuckling]  Those aren't
capitalist countries.

[Speaker]  Of course, of course.  But...

[Castro, interrupting]  You talk to me of foreign visitors.  Name one.
Have you had any from Switzerland?

[Speaker]  No, only from socialist countries.  [video shows Castro and
unidentified speaker touring blood bank]

[Speaker]  The samples are disseminated to make sure they don't have anemia
and so forth, to make sure the patients are healthy, and then they pass
into this room here [words indistinct]

[Castro] [Words indistinct] a doctor, but in what specialty?

[Speaker]  Specialty?  His specialty is clinical biochemistry.  [video
shows Castro speaking with a reporter in a room]

[Reporter]  We would like to hear your opinion about this center; we
already have one in Santiago de Cuba.  Also, it has to coordinate its work
with the by-products plant and the hematology institute.  What do you

[Castro]  Well, I myself am trying to get some kind of idea.  The
impressions I have now are good.  I think the center is well built, well
completed, and that the staff is well prepared.  I also think that the
center will have some function as a national reference center, with a given
number of workers.  I don't have enough information to say whether they've
reached optimum.  They have less than Santiago.  I think they do things in
Santiago that they don't do here, and they do things here that they don't
do in Santiago.

It seems to me that it is a very [words indistinct] center, a very
strategic center.  I have tried to grasp all of the center's functions.
There you see the SUMA [Ultra-Microanalytic System] which is, perhaps,
one of the most expensive pieces of equipment, but it's made in our
country.  It is used to run tests for hepatitis, AIDS--for everything.

[Reporter]  What about the AIDS laboratories we have here?

[Castro]  The SUMA has a great role in that, very well trained personnel
who are certified, university trained--the SUMA will have a big role.  Not
only does it produce blood, it produces other things as well, not to
mention the different types of blood.

I would say this represents a much larger concept than what is normally
associated with a blood bank.  Of course it is costly institution, but one
that will guarantee quality in health service.