Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel Castro Views Low Child Mortality Rate
Havana Radio Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000001551
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL2901041591
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-019          Report Date:    29 Jan 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     4
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       5
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 019


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Fidel Castro Views Low Child Mortality Rate

Source Line:   FL2901041591 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 0000 29 GMT

Subslug:   [Hedy Gonzalez Cabrera report]

1.  [Hedy Gonzalez Cabrera report]

2.  [Text] I have just arrived from the building located on the corner of 23d
and 28th Streets in the (?Vedado) district. The building was inaugurated this
afternoon by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. Let us listen to excerpts of his

3.  [Begin Castro recording] Wherever I go, there is always a microphone
around. Most of the time I generally make unscheduled and unannounced visits to
farms, job sites, and camps. This gives them no time to install any
microphones. But it is during these occasions that I engage in chats with
workers, scientists, students, and peasants.

4.  Well, I know that on these occasions one is supposed to make a statement. I
was amused when Victor [not further identified] explained that sometimes people
do not know how to start a speech. I was just thinking that many times people
do not know how to end a speech.  [laughs]

5.  Victor was an exemplary speaker because he delivered a brief speech, and
those who make short statements are much more appreciated. [words indistinct]
[crowd shouts: no, laughs, applause]

6.  This is why I am going to speak very briefly here today.  [end recording]

7.  I must add that the work that our commander in chief inaugurated this
afternoon is particularly important because it was built by microbrigade
members and by the Habana University Law School students. They doubled their
efforts after a commitment they made to Fidel during his recent visit to the
pharmacology school.

8.  Because our commander in chief is deeply interested in health, this subject
could not be overlooked in his speech. Let us listen to what he said.

9.  [Begin Castro recording] The low child mortality rate places Cuba among the
first in the world. Some day we will rank in 10th place, and in the future we
will rate even better than that. We will see. This is an area in which we are
really fairing very well. There are some countries that are [words indistinct].
There are few births in those countries.

10.  Perhaps they lack some of the problems Cuba has like women bearing
children at a very young age [words indistinct]. As you know, the child
mortality rate is affected by these risk cases. The rate of mothers who give
birth at an age at which their bodies have not yet reached their full physical
development is still very high.

11.  All these factors have an effect on the birth mortality rate. The climate
is also another factor that also has an effect on the birth mortality rate.
Cuba has a warmer climate. It has a humid climate. Such a climate is
unfavorable to our health. Cuba is an island and respiratory illnesses, in
particular asthma, are characteristic of all islands.

12.  All these factors have an effect on the child mortality rate. There is no
tropical country in the world that has been able to decrease the child
mortality rate to the levels that Cuba has achieved.

13.  I believe that the tropical climate in Cuban (?cities) is unfavorable.
Perhaps (?they) have a more dry, more moderate climate. [Words indistinct] 99
out of 100 have survived the first year. Even mathematically, this is a very
difficult thing to achieve. [Words indistinct] undoubtedly, what I have just
mentioned constitutes a true feat.

14.  I am sure we will continue to achieve similar deeds because we have many
other things working for us. We have pediatric cardiovascular surgery. This
saves numerous children who previously had no chance to survive because of
congenital malformations. Today the majority of these children survive due to
cardiovascular surgery. We also are able to diagnose congenital diseases.  This
allows the mother to interrupt her pregnancy if she so wishes. We also are able
to grant perinatal intensive care treatment--that is, intensive care treatment
during the first days of life--which is when most children's death occurs. We
have also been able to develop perinatal intensive care treatment. [end