Cuba’s maternal-child health

Colleen Marzilli, University of Texas at Tyler


The purpose is to elucidate the differences between the Cuban and United States (U.S.) maternalchild health delivery systems by providing a descriptive, retrospective evaluation based on a convenience sample of data gathered through observations with Cuban public health officials, including physicians, nurses, and citizens. U.S.and Cuban data were analyzed using available United Nations data. In Cuba, there are several programs that contribute to excellent maternal-child health outcomes. Two health interventions for the mother and child are regarded as “hygiene” and include the maternity home and vaccination program. Maternity homes provide comprehensive, residential care for at-risk mothers until the onset of labor. An inclusive vaccination program provides continued support to the mother and child post-delivery. In contrast, the U.S.system lacks the two preventive comprehensive healthcare programs noted in the Cuban system that focus on hygiene, in the form of the maternity home for at-risk mothers and vaccination preventive care.