February 27th, 2014
It never ceases to amaze me when I see how much can be and has been done to change health for the better, even in places where resources are few. Late last year, I had a truly unique opportunity to visit two countries only a few hundred miles from each other, yet worlds apart in their health systems and their ability to provide health care for their populations – Haiti and Cuba. The trip to Cuba was organized under a specific license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) allowing for “People-to-People Exchanges.” Having grown up in the region, I was happy to see progress being made in key areas, particularly in the provision of care and treatment to people in need. But I was also struck by the gaps in access to care and essential medicines between the two countries.
During the course of two weeks, my colleagues and I traveled to these two countries to meet with partner organizations and to see the impact of the work of Johnson & Johnson and Janssen are doing at the local level.