Cuba’s biomedical industry is currently attracting global acclaim for the impressive results its “wonder drug,” the interferon Alpha 2B, had in the control and management of the disease in Wuhan, China.
The Caribbean nation’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara Escandell in an interview with Premium Times, said her country which has “historical relationship” with Nigeria will be “attentive to the request of the country” in the fight against COVID-19, but said no such request had been made “at the moment.”
“Cuba and Nigeria have a historical relationship. Through the veins of many Cubans flows blood from the peoples that make up this great country.
“There is an enormous cultural and idiosyncratic influence from Nigeria in many aspects of our social life, like music” Ms Escandell said stating that if a request is tabled by the Nigerian government, “we analyse the overall issue and agree on what conduct can be followed.”
On account of the reputed effectiveness of the Interferon Alpha 2B, about a dozen countries are already knocking on the doors of the Havana government seeking Cuban help.
With an eye on the role the Interferon Alpha 2B played in China, the Italian government invited the Cubans who have sent in 50 biomedical experts from its Cuban Medical Brigade “Henry Reeve,” who are veterans in solving complex health situations and had built experience in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and in disaster management in countries like Haiti and Pakistan when they were shaken by earthquakes, according to Ms Escandell.
Although the Interferon Alpha 2B is not a vaccine, it is “one of the 30 medicines chosen by the Chinese National Health Commission to fight the virus” according to Helen Yaffe, who teaches Cuban and Latin American development at the University of Glasgow and who has provided one of the broadest insights on the history and trajectory of the drug.