How rigors associated to the US blockade on Cuba affect a Cuban mother

How rigors associated to the US blockade on Cuba affect a Cuban mother
Fecha de publicación: 
20 November 2022
Imagen principal: 

Marcelo —resident in Nueva Gerona, Isle of Youth— is a Little boy who suffers from asthma since he was born. The unilateral system of coercive measures imposed by the United States of America on Cuba limits the country’s access to the proper antihistamines to treat that chronic condition.

The report entitled Necesidad de poner fin al bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero impuesto por los EE.UU. contra Cuba (Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba) —recently approved by 185 member nations at UNGA for 30th time— proves that shortage of this kind makes the Cuban people’s daily lives difficult, as the chances to acquire medicines on time to improve life quality reduces a lot.

Claudia Martínez Ruiz, Marcelo's mother, told the Cuban News Agency that when the little boy was born seven years ago his skin was not normal, it looked a lot like velvet to the touch. At that time, the doctors said he was allergic and asthmatic.

Due to the lack of optimal and stable treatment, his asthma does not provide red flags. There are no symptoms such as shortness of breath or coughing that indicate it. Hence, his life is in jeopardy every time an asthma episode sprout. We have provided him first aid with cardiac massages and every time he has one of these episodes his liver becomes inflamed, she said upset.

The young woman said that her son has not lived a normal life since he was born. He also suffers from intestinal malabsorption syndrome, iron deficiency anemia (the most widespread nutritional deficiency in Cuba), which generates reactive acute hepatitis due to repeated chronic infections.

According to the specialized literature, malabsorption can be caused by infection, medications, small bowel surgery, and disorders such as celiac disease. Its symptoms include weight loss, bloating, and sometimes diarrhea, and over time, the brain, nervous system, bones, liver, and other vitals may be affected.

In the most recent episode, the pediatricians decided to perform a CT scan test on him in order to rule out a suspicion of dengue due to his inflamed and greenish abdomen. In order for him to agree to undergo the test, we told him that it was a spaceship, because he has developed "White Coat Syndrome" due to continuous hospitalizations, she commented.

She stated that thanks to this high-precision diagnostic tool, his liver was found to be excessively inflamed (16 centimeters) when it should have been half the size. He was referred to the Institute of Gastroenterology in Havana, where he was diagnosed with acute reactive hepatitis, which he was able to overcome with rest. However, he missed school one year.

Doctors specify that acute reactive hepatitis is also a sequel to iron deficiency anemia (insufficiency of healthy red blood cells due to lack of iron in the body).

“It is difficult to find the right diet due to poor intestinal absorption. The blockade also impacts negatively the agricultural system, and since the special municipality does not have state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose the state of the membrane that covers its stomach, there is no chance he can undergo surgery due to his anemic condition,” she said.

She stressed that his little son Marcelo is sick and depressed almost all the time, to the point that he asked her if he was going to die…: “Can you imagine?” She could not help crying.

“Sometimes I wonder what his life would be like if the blockade did not exist. He would be able to access adequate medicines and food without problems to improve his quality of life, which would allow him to live normally like the rest of the infants of his age –she said in tears– play and run around as little kids do in Cuba.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translaton Staff

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