Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Hospital Inauguration Address
Havana Cuba Vision Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000024660
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0612140889
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-89-239          Report Date:    14 Dec 89
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       8
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       02 Dec 89
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 239


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cuba Vision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Hospital Inauguration Address

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at ceremony inaugurating the Juan Manuel
Marquez Pediatric Hospital in Marianao Municipality, Havana, on 30
November-- recorded]

Source Line:   FL0612140889 Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 2
Dec 89

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at ceremony inaugurating the Juan
Manuel Marquez Pediatric Hospital in Marianao Municipality, Havana,
on 30 November-- recorded] [Note paragraph 17 from end: Castro
alludes to Eastern Europe]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at ceremony inaugurating the Juan Manuel
Marquez Pediatric Hospital in Marianao Municipality, Havana, on 30 November--

2.  [Note paragraph 17 from end: Castro alludes to Eastern Europe]

3.  [Text] [Applause] Esteemed friend Mr Graham [UNICEF official],
distinguished guests, construction workers, students, and comrades. As you have
seen, everything has had to be changed for this event. This event was well
planned. Seats, a podium--the minimum for a ceremony were planned. There was a
hurricane around. It was not just around, but was formed a few days ago. It has
been threatening us for a while. It has been raining a lot. It is a hurricane.
It was reported yesterday that the hurricane was headed for Havana. It was not
a hurricane yet. It was a depression. Now it is said to be a hurricane.

4.  I was asked what to do, if we were going to cancel the event. I said if the
hurricane cancels it, then it is canceled but we cannot cancel the event until
the hurricane gets here. In the first place, the hospital needs to be
inaugurated; plus other things need to be done in the next few days. It was
decided that the hospital would be inaugurated during the congress. An
inauguration can be postponed but not a congress.  Unfortunately, your time is
limited. Many of you have to leave.

5.  If we were in the middle of the hurricane and buses could not run or
anything, in that case, we would hold the ceremony after the hurricane. Anyway,
we thought we needed to make the effort. Of course, nobody knew what the
weather would be like today. We were told: We have made contingency plans if it
rains. The ceremony will be held in the lobby. Everyone will have to stand. A
podium was set up. When I got to the podium, however, I realized I could not
see. [laughter] I said: How can you speak to an audience if you cannot see it?
The audience still cannot be seen very well, but at least we were able to place
a little bench here and the situation is a little better.  This is why some
basic conditions were implemented for the ceremony.

6.  I believe that had it not been for these circumstances I would be able to
speak to you at some length. You would have been comfortably seated, and we and
you would be in the conditions.... [changes thought] It is not enough for the
audience to be comfortable but also the speaker needs to be comfortable. The
speaker should not feel he is in the embarrassing position of keeping people
breathless, without oxygen, standing in a crowded place. This is why I do not
dare keep you here for long. [noise from the crowd]

7.  Therefore, I am only going to speak to you about some of the essentials of
this project. The chief of the construction brigade spoke about the cost of the
hospital. I believe he said it cost almost 28 million pesos. The installation
and construction cost almost 19 million. He gave other information, especially
about the equipment.  Who knows what a peso is today? There is the Mexican
peso, Bolivian peso, Cuban peso. Who knows how many countries have pesos. There
is also Dominican pesos. So, if someone speaks of 28 million you don't know
what a peso is.

8.  Nobody knows what a dollar is, either. Nobody knows. I ask: Which is worth
more, one dollar or one of our pesos?

9.  When you go to a market, if the peso is not recognized, you could be asked
for several pesos per dollar. You, however, cannot do a thing if you go to New
York with just a dollar. It takes you a dollar to ride the bus. I was
explaining this to Mr Graham when we were talking about the famous budget. I
said: At least in Havana you can ride the bus 10 times with a peso. You can
ride the bus only once with a dollar. Which one has more value?  [crowd laughs,

10.  On the other hand, I was telling him: Here with 1 meter [corrects himself]
1 peso you can pay the rent for 3 square meters of housing. In New York, a
dollar pays for 0.20 square meters, 15 times less. So, what is a dollar and
what is a peso? It is very difficult to explain things based on this. Everyone
more or less knows the dollar because also, it is everyone's disgrace. [crowd
laughs] Everyone owes dollars, everyone needs to exchange it for everything on
the black market, here and there, at the bank, in the parallel. So, [chuckles]
you more or less have an idea of what a dollar is because you know how many
dollars were needed to pay for your ticket to come here. Right?

11.  Well, you have an idea. All that is very arbitrary. In addition, we are
constantly all victims of robbery and unequal trade. You more or less have an
idea of what a dollar is. I was also explaining to Mr Graham and other comrades
that if we were going to measure the land, the almost 3 hectares this building
is on, the land alone where this hospital stands would cost $500 million in
Tokyo. Mr Graham said: It would cost more or less the same if it were in
Manhattan. That is, the land alone where this hospital is located would cost
hundreds of thousand dollars in any developed capitalist country.  This element
should be taken into account.

12.  This is not considered in the cost estimates. As I said, God gave us the
land. [crowd laughs] So, it didn't cost a thing, it was here. Well, we had to
build streets and things like that. The land had to be prepared for
construction.  There is no business speculation on the land in our country.
Therefore, it does not appear in the bill showing the costs of the hospital.

13.  Regarding the construction, I imagine that in the United States to build
this hospital it would cost no less than $100 million. A comrade told me that
an architect came here and said how much this hospital would cost in the United
States--where did he say? [Unidentified speaker says: In Boston] in Boston, it
would cost 200 million.  Did he count the land? [Unidentified speaker: Without
the land] Oh, without the land. [Crowd laughs] You see how difficult it is to
explain this, but it gives you an idea.  You can see why this project is good,
you can see our situation in accordance with our laws, our possibilities.  The
land is not accounted for. Construction workers make a great effort. They
attempt to find the greatest possible yield. Salaries are not very high. So,
this project appears as a project that costs around 30 million, close to 28
million. This is what we want to tell you in order to explain more or less the
value of the project itself.

14.  Another thing is that this is the first hospital built specifically
designed as a pediatric hospital. When the decision was made to establish
specialized hospitals such as maternity, pediatric, and clinical-surgical
hospitals, the existing installations were divided up. For example, one
installation might be a general hospital but it could be used for pediatrics.

15.  A number of adaptations were made to the installations.  Different wards
such as intensive care and the like were built. There were, however, existing
installations that were turned into hospitals. The first thing the revolution
did was to rationally use the existing facilities. It built hospitals.
Maternity, general, and different kinds of hospitals were built. Pediatric
hospitals had not been built specifically. Existing installations had been
used.  This is the first one specifically designed for this purpose, using the
past experience of our doctors and construction workers to build the pediatric

16.  We believe it is a very complete installation. We believe it is a
functional installation. Efforts have been made for it to have the necessary
quality--comfort. Hospitals used to have a ward with 20, 30 beds. We tried not
to have those wards in the hospitals we are building. We try to build hospitals
with single, double, or triple rooms. In this hospital, we have a maximum of
three rooms per room [as heard], it is much more private. Each of the rooms has
a washbasin in addition to a bathroom for patients and relatives. I would say
this is the kind of hospital that resembles the most ideal hospital that could
exist. We are building two more hospitals of this kind, one in Ciego de Avila
Province--it is exactly the same design as this one. Of course, we can always
improve using the experience gained from the first one. Another one is to be
built in Bayamo, then three more. One will be built in Sancti Spiritus Province
before. We are thinking about building two more in Havana City Province. This
will allow for better distribution. There are enough hospitals but they are not
well located. This one is toward the west. We are thinking about building one
toward the south and another one toward the east.

17.  In the past, there were practically no hospitals in these outlying
neighborhoods. There were not very many installations. They were clustered in
areas with better living conditions. This is why to complete the network with a
good distribution in the capital, we would need two more hospitals such as this
one. We are going to start building them as soon as we can.

18.  We can build these hospitals pretty quickly. We can build them in 2 years,
2 and  years maximum. We have improved, we have made a lot of progress in the
area of construction, and we can build an installation such as this one in a
short period of time. A special construction system was created for this type
of multistory building.

19.  There are pediatric hospitals in all of the country's provinces.
Unfortunately, not all of them have the same physical facilities as this one
but all of them have very good doctors and all the necessary equipment. All of
our pediatric hospitals have intensive care services. We discovered the
importance of intensive care services at a particular time. We discovered it
with the dengue epidemic. The doctors began to separate the more serious cases.
At that time, in 1981, we only had one intensive care room. Now we have
intensive care rooms in all pediatric hospitals. They also have separate wards
or rooms for infectious cases.

20.  They have been extremely useful. The 1981 dengue epidemic killed 1,000
children [corrects himself] not 1,000, but approximately 100 children, and a
total of about 150 people. I believe that for every child who died of that
epidemic in 1981, these intensive care rooms have saved at least 100 children.
They really give medicine, science a chance.

21.  They would have not been saved without those installations, the equipment,
and specialized personnel. For example, there would have not been a way to deal
with respiratory arrest. We just saw a case of a girl who arrived seriously ill
with a general infection from pneumonia. They placed her in an artificial
respirator [word indistinct] and she is now completely out of danger. This is
an extremely serious case.

22.  We just went to the intensive care room and saw several extremely serious
cases that would not have been saved without this type of medical attention.
Our pediatric hospital network is becoming pretty complete.

23.  I believe when the hospital director spoke he said a group of institutions
gives special attention to children. The first one deals with nutrition for
children. If children do not receive adequate nutrition, there are not many
possibilities available for medicine. This is a social problem in the first
place. Then, there are schools starting with child care centers. In the last 2
years, between 1986 and 1987--were the child care centers built between 86 and
87 Lezcano? Were they built between 87 and 88? No. [Words indistinct] I believe
we completed the 111 in December 1987. Of course.

24.  Anyway, between 1986 [Castro corrects himself] 1987 and 1988, we built
about 115 child care centers in 1986, 1987, and 1988. There was a demand for
19,500 slots and we have created room for 25,000. See how things are. The
demand has grown again because of increased jobs for women and perhaps because
some who did not think there was any possibility of sending a child to a child
care center now has that opportunity. The demand has grown again. We created
room for 25,000 children in the capital in 2 and  years.

25.  Those are great institutions. They were built well. Children are given
good attention. There are two nurses in each child care center. Doctors are now
being placed in child care centers. Excellent attention is given there.  Almost
50 people work each of those institutions with a total of 200 or 210 children.
Children do not only receive excellent attention, but they are taught many
things, they receive good food, and excellent health services. This helps the
health of the child. There are schools, semiboarding schools, all those factors
have an effect.

26.  Housing has an effect. We have not solved all housing problems, but we are
working hard on them and hope to supply the basic housing needs of our country
in a relatively short period of time. All this complements and supports the
medical assistance system for children in the country. All this has an effect.
Of course, the skill of the medical staff, nurses, technicians also has an
effect.  The equipment available also has an effect. The attention given to
mothers also has an effect.

27.  One has to see how maternal mortality has been reduced.  I do not know if
it less than five now. How is maternal mortality? [Unidentified speaker says:
2.6] What? The maternal mortality rate is at 2.6. Recently I spoke with a
health minister from a Latin American country and he told me theirs was around
50, around 50 [repeats]. It is a pretty poor country. It has a very high
figure. Infant mortality rate in children in their 1st year of life is almost
170. These two things run parallel. There is a pretty good attention for
mothers. Places called maternity homes have been created. High-risk cases are
given special care.  They can stay there 1 or 2 months before delivery. It

28.  Maternity homes are located in every city, and everywhere there is a
maternity hospital. Mothers live there, especially those who live further away,
the ones who live in the countryside.

29.  All those factors are a great help. Attention to mothers also influences
the mortality rate of the mother and child, of both of them. This is true
especially in high-risk cases. This has allowed us to gradually reduce the
infant mortality rate for the 1st year of life. This is one of the most
well-known indexes. It should not be the only index. It is important to see how
many reach 5 years of age, and to consider other factors such as their health,
height, growth, physical and mental development. We will have to think about
all these things at a given time and include those indexes. Now, however, we
have to use the most general and best-known ones.

30.  If we include all these indexes we will undoubtedly be able to see greater
progress in everything concerning children's health. We have made progress.
Last year, in 1988, the infant mortality rate was less than 12; it reached
11.9. This year, it is around 11 at this time. It could reach 11.1, 11.2
maximum. It could reach 11 or 10.9. This is going to depend on the final month.
There are months of the year in which the survival rate is higher. The final
months of the year are better. The cases of the few noninstitutional deliveries
are added. There are always some. Generally, they are counted if there are
deaths. When those who were born in hospitals are counted, there is a small
statistical correction at the end which favors the index. Let's assume that we
stay around 11. I believe that we will be at less than 10 in 3 years at the

31.  We have some provinces that have rates lower than 7.  There are also
municipalities in Havana that are under 10. The capital of the Republic should
end up with around 10 this year, around 10 [repeats himself]. This is a third
or less than a third of the rate in Washington, according to information I read
recently. Apparently, Washington is going to have 33. That was the projected
infant mortality rate for every 1,000 babies born alive.  Despite everything,
the blockade and all those foolish things, and all those, shall we say, crimes,
our capital is going to have less than one-third of the U.S. capital's infant
mortality rate this year. I do not want.... [changes thought] There is an
American friend here, and many American friends are here. I am not saying
anything against the American people, nothing of the sort. I am referring to a
piece of information because you know the U.S. Government is so hostile that it
goes to the extreme of banning the sale of medicine and medical equipment to
Cuba. Not even an aspirin can be sold to Cuba.

32.  Then they talk about human rights. They have the luxury of talking about
all those things. They want the rest to die. Children, old people, and adult
men and women die.  This is when they don't kill them. Sometimes they kill them
with bombs and all those things, as is happening in some places.

33.  I believe.... [changes thought] I tell you, there are places, there are
some municipalities that have a zero infant mortality rate, some municipalities
in the interior. I am not going to talk about Havana. Lezcano, what is the
lowest rate in Havana? [Lezcano replies: We have several with 6.5, 6.7] This
shows it can be done. One of the doubts we had was whether we could reach that
in our climate, in a tropical island country. It is warmer and more humid in
the tropics. There are more bacteria, funguses, and problems where there is
more humidity and heat. There are usually more respiratory problems on islands,
especially asthma. This is common on islands. I always asked myself: Is it
possible to go lower than 10 with our climate and the genetic potential of our
population? There are countries that have greater capabilities.  There are
nations with a greater capability, greater resistance, or a better climate.
Geographic factors and even genetic factors can influence this type of index.

34.  According to what we have seen in some provinces, we are sure that we can
go lower than 10, even with the tropical conditions in our country. I believe
it should not take more than 3 years. We are reducing the index by almost 1
point each year. It is easier to reduce the index from 70 to 40, 35, and 30. It
is, however, more difficult to do so from 12, 11, and 10, especially in a
country in which women have babies. [Crowd laughs] There are indexes that show
there are countries in which women do not have babies. There are practically no
births [words indistinct]. Women have babies in our Latin American countries.
This is the case here also. Fortunately, it does not happen as much. [crowd
laughs] Fortunately, it does not happen as much [repeats himself].

35.  We are convinced that the index can be lower than 10.  When did we reach
this conclusion? Four new things were going to determine if the index could be
less than 10.

36.  First, there is prenatal genetics and early detection of cases of
life-threatening malformations. The tragedy is prevented. Nobody is forced to,
but the mother is given the option to interrupt the pregnancy in those cases. 
Many of those cases that influence those indexes are life threatening
congenital malformation. To the extent that we detect cardiac or other types of
problems with techniques, equipment, and reactives developed in Cuba, we can
detect early on the type of malformation and the pregnancy is interrupted, the
infant mortality rate is reduced.

37.  Second, the perinatal intensive care services. We are taking them to all
maternity hospitals as well as neonatology services. This is an important
factor because although the index can be low, it can still be relatively high
during the first days of birth, during the first stage.  With our perinatal
intensive care and neonatology services we should reduce the index in 2 or 3

38.  We have the children's cardiovascular surgery center.  This is a new
institution that was inaugurated 3 years ago. Over 1,400 small children have
undergone surgery there. Even premature babies have undergone surgery there.
According to international statistics, we would have to see the ones
specifically for us, around 8 or 9 or every 1,000 babies born have cardiac
problems. Some of them, around half of them, 80 percent of half of them die if
they are not given attention during the 1st year.  Always, the possibility of
saving hundreds of lives in this way reduces the index. These services expand
throughout the country.

39.  We have three children's cardiovascular surgery hospitals, but only one
treats children who are 5 years old and younger. This hospital is having a
great success. It has almost 80 beds and it is going to have 20 more. An
intensive care room there is going to be built elsewhere because that service
is next to a pediatric hospital. We are going to have around 112 beds for
children's cardiovascular surgery. This is more or less what is needed to take
care of all the country's cases. Some cases from abroad are also treated there.

40.  I have mentioned three things. The fourth is the family doctor. It is
unquestionable that the one who maintains health is the family doctor. As Mr
Graham explained, when he came in 1984 we had 10 or 70 [as heard]. We started
with 10 doctors. We studied the experience well.  We expanded it as we saw its
possibilities and what that institution promised. We already have over 8,000 in
Havana. Around 75 percent of the population already has the services of the
family doctor. We are now taking the family doctor to the schools, child care
centers, and factories. All this will benefit the health of the population.

41.  It is noticeable because generally the infant mortality rate is under 10
everywhere where there are family doctors. Those municipalities, those
polyclinics covered totally by family doctors have infant mortality rates under
10. These four factors were the ones that led us to believe that we could
reduce the rate to under 10. This is actually happening. We could say that
sophisticated medicine is required to reduce the infant mortality rate to the
levels of 13, 12, and 11. I would say it requires relatively expensive
medicine. I say relatively expensive because can one measure what is spent in
health? How much is spent in other spheres? How much money is wasted? How much
is stolen? How much flees? So, the funds dedicated to health will never be

42.  Of course, these institutions I am talking about are required in order to
reach low indexes. What hurts is to think that the infant mortality rate could
be much lower than the one we have today. To reduce the infant mortality rate
to 20 hardly requires any special effort, any expense. This index can be
reached even with difficult social conditions. Of course, the children will not
grow with the same opportunities. They will not have the same development of
their intelligence if they do not have good nutrition. I think that to reduce
the infant mortality rate in any of our countries to at least 25 and possibly
20 is not difficult. It is not very costly. This is why it is very painful to
think that some countries have rates of 60, 70, 80, 100, and over 100. This is
simply because nothing is done about it.

43.  Mr Graham brought the little envelope. Sometimes they do not give out the
little envelope. There are also many preventive vaccines, many preventive
methods that are inexpensive, that are cheap. It is a matter of spending a
little money to organize prevention programs. There are the little envelopes,
procedures to deal with the problems. I say the infant mortality rate could be
reduced to at least an average of 25 in Latin America. I believe it could be
reduced even more because some countries can reduce it more. At least they
could reduce it to 25.

44.  It is painful to think about this. One asks oneself: What do politicians
do? What do they spend their time on?  They are not even capable of saving the
lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

45.  When Mr Graham came in 1984, I heard a very strong argument: If services
can reach the children, the lives of 700,000 children could be saved in Latin
America. The situation has not changed since he came in 1984. That was the
approximate figure he gave. It may have been reduced somewhat with the
envelopes, but what happens? Because of the problem of the debt and the lack of
concern about health, the health situation in general and children's health in
particular has worsened in many countries. This is why.... [changes thought] If
we figure out the statistics and analyze them well, the number of children that
die could be over 700,000. What does this mean? It means that 7 million
children will die in 10 years. It is a war against children. It is a war
against the.... [changes thought] That neglect is the same as a war against
children. They are killing 700,000 children every year. They are killing them.
Let's suppose that they don't get the rate as low as 11, 12, or 13. I think we
had 14 when Mr Graham gave those figures. Our rate was 15 at that time. Not
much progress has been made in this area: there has even been regression. Our
rate is possibly 11 now but let's not think of 11, let's think of 10. [corrects
himself] Let's think of 20. I think that over half a million children would be
saved every year if the rate were 20.  Possibly more than half a million would
be saved.

46.  Do you know why? Because governments do not want to save them. They don't
care, they are not concerned.

47.  I don't want to give a political speech here today while we have an
illustrious medical congress in progress. I have no other choice, however, but
to say a couple of things that are evident. These truths are self-evident, like
that famous statement made by [applause; words indistinct]. I have no intention
of spreading any propaganda [Unidentified person laughs], or anything like
that. But maybe socialism does need some propaganda. So many bad things are
being said about it. Now, even the socialists themselves are saying so many bad
things about it. [Crowd laughs] It is as if they have to make complete rubbish
out of everything they have done. I do not believe this and do not understand
why they say this. I really do not think that way. I am quite a ways from
thinking in this way. I do not think there is a need for propaganda because of
it. This is not a matter of propaganda. To believe that problems are solved
with words, and propaganda is very foolish. Problems are solved by facts,
actions, and solutions that are applied properly and that are within the means
of each country.  Some countries have more and others have less.

48.  Who knows why Washington has a 33-percent infant mortality rate? Well, I
don't know. It is such a perfect society! It is such a marvelous thing. And I
am not even mentioning other problems such as drugs, etc, etc. I don't

49.  I believe deeds are worth more than words. I say this because I know the
feeling that has prevailed in these medical congresses promoting the people's
health and children's health. You do know what can be done and are the ones
suffering all the time because it is not done. This is the pain you have inside
you. I notice it in pediatricians.  Everyone knows what could be done. Everyone
knows how things are and everyone knows they are not done. I am talking to you
in this way because you are defenders of the lives of children.

50.  Views have to be established and awareness has to be created. Things did
not use to be like this in Cuba.  Everything changed with the revolution as
education and many other things changed. We plan to change many more. It is not
that we believe we have no faults. On the contrary. However, we plan to
overcome mistakes and deficiencies. We are struggling to do things better.

51.  This is why I was very pleased with Mr Graham's words when he said some
members of the World Health Organization had already been here and thought well
of what we were doing. He thinks we have continued to improve what we were
doing. Of course, we need to continue to improve what we are doing. We have not
only worked to improve children's health, we have worked to improve the health
of the entire population. We are working hard.  We are not only working to
improve the health of children under one year of age, but also the rest of

52.  We used to have a growing rate of meningococcal meningitis type B.
Fortunately, it is being eradicated. We have all the means to achieve this
thanks to the efforts made by our researchers, our scientists. I am not going
to talk about this. The press published information about this matter a few
days ago. A very effective vaccine has been created. It is one of the most
effective vaccines against a bacterial disease. We are working in many other
fields. They are working on other vaccine for certain types of meningitis which
is not the c or w or y but another one. Some come up and others disappear. 
They are working on it. Great efforts are being made in this field of medicine
and biotechnology. A lot of progress is being made. In my opinion we are going
to [words indistinct] the health of our people.

53.  We have the skin growth factor, we have medicines produced with the skin
growth factor to treat burns.  They are very effective except in extreme cases
in which the damage is total, in which not only skin is lost but also muscle
and everything. There are very difficult cases, but many burn cases are being
solved in record time. These medicines improve healing. They can also be used
to treat other illnesses.

54.  We are working in the fight against cancer, in diagnosis and also
treatment. We are working in many areas in the field of health and
biotechnology. This work is placing our country in a good position in the
world. It will enable us to do anything any international company can do. We
know what they do and what they charge. We are very optimistic about this. It
will enable us to continue to improve our people's health conditions.

55.  We are struggling against some diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. It
has been explained to me by doctors that it is called that. Vision is lost
gradually, until the person becomes totally blind. A group of doctors,
especially one doctor among them who has developed very effective techniques in
the struggle against this disease. There are more people working and
cooperating on this. This is a degenerative disease. They are working to see
how this problem can be solved. Definite assessments cannot be made yet because
time is needed to see how long it takes for the treatment to solve the problem,

56.  In nervous diseases, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, and other
types of diseases and accidents, natural diseases and accidents, in
paraplegias. They are working on severed medullas. They are performing
transplants.  We have a center that was mentioned here. It is among a number of
centers located in this area. It is the neurotransplant and nervous generation
center. In my opinion, it has a great future. It has a lot of potential. 
Parkinson's disease cases have improved considerably.

57.  They are also struggling with chorea cases. Some improvements have been
noted. They still have a long way to go on that. They have made a lot of
progress on severed medullas, on paralysis. The other day they showed me a
neuron to which they had applied a product. It was a nerve growth factor. Nerve
projections began to sprout. It was nerve growth factor from rats, not humans.
They are seriously working to try to obtain the nerve growth factor for humans.
So, one must not lose hope, because there are a lot of possibilities for
solving certain types of terrible diseases that have been incurable up to now.

58.  This may be achieved with perseverance and patient work, with the
dedication of many of our scientists who are working on this all the time. This
allows us to think of promising future possibilities. This is not to prevent a
baby from dying, but is so a baby can live 80, 85, 90 years and live well. You
can already talk with several dozen, some hundreds of thousands of elderly
here. Homes for the elderly have been created through the family doctor
program. You can see how they feel and how the use of medicines has been
reduced and how their health has improved. The results of that work can be

59.  We need to work with children and older people here.  When a person is
young he thinks he is going to live forever. He gets fat, neglects to exercise,
and all those things. We plan to educate or reeducate all these people also. We
will have to educate them because many people were never educated enough to
follow the rules they need to follow on all this. I believe our people are
going to be healthier and healthier. We will see how those indexes will grow in
the coming years.

60.  I do not believe it will take us a long time to surpass the 80-year life
expectancy with the work we are doing and with absolutely reliable statistics,
strictly accurate statistics.

61.  Your presence is encouraging to us. We are encouraged by the international
congress held here, your support, and your cooperation. Our country learns a
lot and receives a lot with these congresses. Because in medicine, as in any
science, true success lies in not only creating but also in receiving, in
adding what thousands of talented people, tens of thousands of talented people,
hundreds of thousands of talented people.... [changes thought] Because
fortunately not all scientists are dedicated to the arms race; there are others
who work at other activities, including the struggle for human health. I
believe every country should try to make its contribution and at the same time
try to apply what other countries are applying.

62.  The experiences of hundreds of people is compiled when such a congress is
held. They include the experiences of many knowledgeable people in the field.
This allows us to receive in detail the experience of others and to modestly
contribute our own experiences.

63.  I believe that the basic experience in this field of health, I believe
that what is decisive is the will to do things, the will to do things
[repeats]. Man has developed marvelous things to preserve and improve life, but
they have not been applied. So the important thing is the will to apply them. I
believe that you struggle because of that will. You are going to continue
struggling to make that will a reality until the day you achieve it. This is
the main thing I want to tell you. If you leave with this conviction, and I
know that you have it, I believe you will pardon me for having run on a little
despite the special conditions in which this meeting has taken place. Thank you
very much. [applause]