PM welcomes Cuba’s proposal for new medical lab

PRIME Minister Hon. Rick Houenipwela has welcomed proposals for the country to address the chronic problem of amputation and to establish a laboratory to produce plant based medicine in the country.

This was revealed during his meeting with two experts from Cuba, Dr José Montequin and Consultant Luis Silvagni and led by Solomon Islands Ambassador to Cuba, His Excellency Simeon Bouro early this week.

The treatment, Heberprot-P is a first class product developed by scientists at the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana, Cuba which contained human recombinant epidermal growth factor in an injectable formulation.

The injectable formulation is administered through intralesional infiltration directly into the wound for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer, to accelerate healing of deep and complex ulcers, either neuropathic or ischemic.

About twenty-seven countries have already registered Heberprot-P.

The Prime Minister said with the high rate of Non- Communicable Diseases in the country, this technology can save a lot of patients from amputation.

The Prime Minister after his meetings in Nauru recently, has expressed his desire for Solomon Islands to introduce this technology.

The meeting this week with the team from Cuba has confirmed and fulfilled his vision to have this technology available in the country.

Dr José Montequin, a specialist who started with the technology in its initial stages of development of the product, Heberprot-P, and has travelled to many countries establishing clinics and also lectures in universities in Havana.

He has also written articles in the International Medical Journals.

The second project is to establish a laboratory to produce plant based medicine in the country.

His Excellency Simeon Bouro stated, “Cuba has done extensive work in the area of plant based medicine and I believe that Solomon Islands with the wealth of knowledge of herbal medicine, and extensive range of plants already found in-country, will be able to produce medicine that can be readily available to the populace.”

Further, the Technical Institute of Malaita has shown interest in developing a close collaboration with Cuba to venture in the production of plant-based medicine.

The Ministry of Commerce is also eager to assist with this project.

The Malaita Province has also identified sites where this project can be based on.

According to findings, seventy percent of the plants used to produce medicine in Cuba can be found in the country.

The Director of the Technical Institute of Malaita, Mr Bernard Bakote’e, has been conducting research into herbal treatments that have already delivered encouraging results and is very willing and happy that he can be linked to the Cuban counterparts to develop this project further.

“The benefits from this project is huge considering that it will stimulate the agricultural sector in the rural areas in the country”.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.


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