Technical Support for Newborn Screening › Science › Granma

In the early 1970s, a team of doctors led by Dr. José Luis Fernández Yero began working in the laboratories of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNIC) to develop a technique that would allow the prenatal diagnosis of congenital malformations without risk to the mother.

In July 1981, preliminary results were presented at an exhibition held at the Palace of Revolutions, the purpose of which was to showcase the country’s recent scientific developments in medicine.

As Dr. Fernández Hierro told Granma a few years ago, when he was able to explain to Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro the nature of the project they had been working on, and showed him born with Pictures of different types of children. deformity.

After watching them in silence, the Revolutionary Supreme Leader said: “If only one of these cases is found and can be avoided, it is worth all the effort.”

He immediately directed to verify the technology and roll it out to the whole country. Under his long-term follow-up, the ultramicro analysis system appeared in the second year, called Tecnología suma.

In order to guarantee the industrial-scale production of reagents, equipment and other components, the state leadership approved in January 1986 the construction of a new factory to undertake this task.

On September 7, 1987, Fidel inaugurated in just 19 months the Immunoassay Center, abbreviated: CIE.

As he signed the visitor roster, he emphasized: “This center is a true gem, and we are proud of it. Congratulations to all of you workers. Our people have great expectations of them.”

peace for cuban families

Dr. Niurka Margarita Carlos Pía, founder and managing director of CIE for twenty years, affirms that the entity’s greatest contribution during its 36 years of work has been in providing technical support to important national health programs, including those for women and children.

As an example, he cited the successful early diagnostic testing of all Cuban children born after 1986 for congenital hypothyroidism, using the Suma technology.

“This research has made it possible to detect and treat more than 1,150 infants with the disease in time, preventing them from developing severe intellectual disabilities as they grow up. Planned countries, second only to Canada and ahead of the United States.

He also highlighted the results of prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies, which is part of the Cuban alpha-fetoprotein program.

“Currently, the number of pregnant women studied since 1985 has exceeded 4.5 million, and a proportion of deformities that are incompatible with life have been found,” he said.

These pregnancies are terminated whenever the couple decides by consensus, which has had a major impact on infant mortality indicators, Dr Nuerka Margarita said.

It can be said that my country is also the second country in the world that has a complete alpha-fetoprotein project.

As the CIE director explained, the sum technique is used today to diagnose more than 20 diseases, including hepatitis B and C, dengue fever, cystic fibrosis, HIV and leprosy.

The scientific institute, which belongs to the BioCubaFarma business group, is currently very focused on research related to cancer and chronic non-communicable diseases, given its position on the list of leading causes of death in the country.

Foundational projects focus on finding and developing new procedures for the early detection of some of these diseases to increase the chances of controlling them and extending lifespan.

Proof of this is the Umelisa PSA assay, aimed at the early diagnosis of prostate cancer (expanded to 15 provinces and the Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth); the Sumasohf rapid test for the specific detection of human occult hemoglobin in stool, which is a predictor of colon cancer Factors; and the Sumascope system, which focuses on improving the quality of research and the ability to diagnose and treat cervical cancer early.

According to Dr. Niurka Margarita, each CIE device, technique, kit and other product used for the above purposes was conceived according to its own intellectual capacity.

“Because of the introduction and promotion of high technology and its new developments, many lives were saved and children were averted from terrible diseases which were detected in time in pregnant women, thereby giving peace of mind to families,” he said.

Likewise, it can conduct more than 11.7 million tests to prevent transmission of the disease from mother to fetus, making Cuba the first country in the world to eliminate the vertical transmission of HIV. Published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2021.

Equally important is the benefit of the entity’s remarkable results in blood, placenta and organ certification programs, accumulating more than 40 million assays in voluntary blood donors and more than 70 million in epidemiological surveillance determination while reducing this possibility. The chances of getting hepatitis B and other diseases through this route are very small.

One of the CIE’s direct investigation programs, which has been certified as a high-tech company for two years, is to find new diagnostic methods and products for newborn screening, rapid tests, and innovative tests related to agricultural health.

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