Despite the U.S. blockade, Cuba continues to have a universal and free healthcare system. Photo: Miguel Febles Hernández

One thousand, a million… no, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential healthcare services, while health expenses push many others into extreme poverty.
One thousand, a million… no, half of humanity, shocking figures which could make one forget that something must change in order to guarantee all people their most basic of rights, the right to life.
These alarming figures were recently published in a report by the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO), a far cry from the 2030 Development Agenda goals.
“We must urgently scale up our efforts on universal health coverage,” stated World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, however inequality and privatized healthcare paint a gray picture for the most vulnerable.
Because, as incredible as it might seem, this isn’t a question of money as such, although material resources are definitely needed, it is, above all, about political will, something that Cuba has shown over all these years of Revolution, which even as an underdeveloped county, with only half of its medical professionals remaining on the island, and subjected to an unrelenting economic, commercial and financial blockade, has not only managed to establish and maintain a universal and free healthcare system, but also achieved indicators on a par with those of developed nations.
The life of every man, woman, and child, has always been a priority for Cuba’s socialist government, which has extended its humanist efforts abroad, defending the sacred right of every person to exist in every corner of the Planet.
Thus as one reads that half of the world’s population lacks access to essential healthcare services, in addition to our commitment to continue struggling to change this situation, be it through our solidarity efforts or in international forms, it’s impossible not feel a healthy sense of pride in our country’s achievements.