No matter where you are, having your child diagnosed with a serious illness is a parents worst nightmare.But for children diagnosed with cancer in Cuba situation is made even worse due to the political dispute with the US.SOUNDBITE 2 - Migdalia Perez Cuban pediatric oncologist (woman, Spanish, 21 sec): "Unfortunately because of the embargo, it has not been possible to buy the medicine directly from the producing countries. Our country makes some efforts through third party countries to buy these medicines and supply them to the children."Seven-year-old Noemi had a brain tumor removed last month... She now needs a US-made chemotherapy drug to help prevent the agressive form of cancer from coming back.Having to import through third party countries costs hospitals huge amounts of time and money.....After a five-decade stand off... President Obama has expressed a wish to lift the embargo, though the Republicans in congress are dead set on maintaining it.The two countries have reopened their embassies in each other's capitals.. and are engaged in dialogue to resolve their remaining political differences.Noemi's grandmother, who also has cancer, says she hopes that health will be high on the agenda.SOUNDBITE 4 - Marlene Díaz, cancer patient and grandmother of the child patient (woman, Spanish, 15 sec): "I hope that, with the grace of God, the government of Cuba and the government of the United States, now that they have established some relations, will focus more on health."Around 300 children a year are treated at six cancer facilities around Cuba.With Noemi's type of cancer, survival rates are around 70 percent if she gets the drug she needs. Without it the chances fall below 20 percent.
No matter where you are, having your child diagnosed with a serious illness is a parents worst nightmare.But for children diagnosed with cancer in Cuba situation is made even worse due to the political dispute with the US.SOUNDBITE 2 - Migdalia Perez
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