The Havana-based Immunoassay Research Center founded by Cuban President Fidel Castro on September 7th, 1987, celebrated Friday its twenty anniversary.
Immunoassays are biochemical tests used to detect diseases and infections at molecular level. They are particularly important in the diagnosis of HIV.
The research institution has the capacity to develop the equipment and diagnostic techniques as well as the computer software required for its use. It also provides technical support and assistance to all clients who use its technologies. Furthermore, it provides supervision to the healthcare programs where they are applied. Its leading products are the ultramicroanalytic system (SUMA), and the UMELISA and UMTEST reagents kits used for diagnostic screening purposes.
According to founder and director general of the Immunoassay Research Center Dr. Fernandez Yero, the institution now has 28 diagnostic kits available, which through a network of 194 laboratories installed all along the Cuban archipelago can detect 17 diseases that are linked to several top priority national programs of the Public Health Ministry, like the Mother and Child program, the Epidemiological Monitoring program and the Blood Safety Certification system.
After Canada, Cuba was the second country in the Americas that provided full coverage of the congenital hypothyroidism detection for newborn babies, something that started in both nations before it was implemented in the United States.
In addition, the contributions made by the Immunoassay Research Center have provided the basis for the national program for the prenatal diagnosis of congenital malformations.
Dr. Fernandez Yero affirms that the greatest pride of the center, currently comprised of 271 employees, is having done 20 years of scientific research to benefit the people.