Havana has earned the reputation as a premier destination for health sector events, both at the national and international levels in the Latin American-Caribbean region. Cuba’s many health conferences present an excellent opportunity for learning and the exchange of knowledge between professionals.
Each year a broad range of regional and global congresses in health take place. Havana has developed into the preferred venue for medical conferences for a variety of reasons.
The Island has positioned itself as a significant contributor to global health for its medical innovations in the treatment of chronic disease (for example, cancer, hepatitis, and diabetes).
Cuba’s medical innovations in pharmaceuticals is phenomenal. Cuba’s drugs for the treatment of cancer, diabetic foot ulcer are in high demand globally.
Cuba is a major contributor to international health via its program of medical internationalism. Its medical services are provided for free in regions of disaster (during hurricanes or earthquakes) and also exported to nations which are not able to provide sufficient healthcare services of their own.
Other reasons the Island is seen as a leading center for health are the impressive statistics of longevity and infant mortality rates. Additionally, research and development emerging from the city’s institutions have managed to catch the world’s attention. All this evidence, as a result, points to Havana leading the way as the obvious choice for health conferences.
Several prime locations for event venues are available and equipped to provide the latest audio-visual equipment, technical assistance and experienced staff to ensure conferences run efficiently:
- Meliá Cohiba Hotel
- Tryp Habana Libre
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba
- Pabexpo Exhibition Center
- ExpoCuba fairgrounds
- Palacio de las Convenciones (Havana International Conference Center)
The following is a list of the health conferences held each year in Cuba.
Pediatric Conference: January
Sponsored by the Cuban Society of Pediatrics, this congress has existed for the last 28 years. Many Latin American and European pediatricians, delegations from the United States and as far away as Qatar attend. Perhaps Cuba’s record of the one lowest infant mortality rate make this capital city the logical location for such a conference.
Also in January is the Ministry of Public Health and the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) CALIXTO conference. The Conference focuses on trauma, general surgery, aging, intensive patient care, alternative natural therapies and medicine.
Cuba Salud: April
Organized by the Ministry of Public Health and co-sponsored by several international organizations, Cuba Salud features some of the most relevant issues in global health today. The Cuba Salud conference theme in 2018 was: “Universal Health for Sustainable Development.”
Last year, the agenda focused on the challenges of global public health. Discussions and presentations covered health informatics for sustainable development, international cooperation in health safety, and quality in medical care.
International Diabetes Congress: May
The International Diabetes Congress is sponsored by the Ministry of Public Health, the Cuban Society of Endocrinology, the Institute of Endocrinology (INEN) and the Latin American Association of Diabetes (ALAD), as well as other national and international organizations. It will be the First International Congress of Diabetes Cuba, the 10th Cuban Congress of Diabetes and the fourth Symposium of Diabetes ALAD / CUBA. It will be held at the Havana Convention Center in May.
This scientific event is designed for specialists linked to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of people with diabetes. The International Diabetes Congress will provide an opportunity for exchanging experiences and updating evidence on the disease and other related issues.
Congress of Cardiology: June
For ten years, the Cuban Cardiology Congress organized by the Central American and Caribbean Society of Cardiology and the Cuban Cardiology Society takes place every June. Last year’s event, “Offering Excellence in Cardiovascular Health” was attended by cardiovascular specialists and hospital executives from Cuba and Latin American, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America.
The congress is widely seen as an opportunity for medical industry experts to swap knowledge on prevention, intervention, surgical treatment, health promotion, and the rehabilitation of patients with various forms of cardiovascular disorders.
Ginecobs is a conference covering the subjects of obstetrics and gynecology. It is held every two years in June. The Havana Convention Center is the usual venue.
This conference is organized by the Cuban Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The event covers subjects such as maternal and fetal medicine, family planning, child and adolescent gynecology, adolescent reproductive health, menopause, pathology of the lower genital tract and colposcopy.
Sexual Education, Guidance and Therapy Congress: June
The Sexual Education, Guidance and Therapy Congress has existed for eight years. The Congress takes place in June in Havana. It is an internationally attended conference where specialists meet to share developing knowledge on contemporary issues such as sex education in schools, gender-based violence, masculinity as constructed by the social imagination, trans-identities, and sexual rights.
International Congress of Aesthetics, Cosmetology & Aesthetic Medicine: July
The International Congress of Aesthetics, Cosmetology & Aesthetic Medicine is a series of lectures and seminars presented by Cuban and international specialists. It takes place in July at the Habana Libre Hotel. The Aesthetics and Cosmetology conference is organized by the Ministries of Public Health and Domestic Trade, the Cuban Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Latin American School of Training in High Aesthetics (ELCES).
The International Congress of Aesthetics and Cosmetology conference focuses on aesthetics and cosmetology. It is also the venue to promote Cuban and international aesthetic products, services and equipment. Companies from Italy, Spain, France, China, Norway and the Cuban company Suchel Camacho presented their products at the associated trade fair.
International Course on Dengue: August
The International Course on Dengue takes place in August. It is now the 16th edition of this specialized international course. The Dengue course is organized by the Pan American Organization of the Health / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) for the Study of Dengue and its Control of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, the “Pedro Kourí”, the Cuban Society of Microbiology and Parasitology, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba, among other institutions and organizations. This course is offered in times of the challenge of the spread Zika and Chikungunya and Yellow Fever.
Cancer & Autoimmunity Workshop: September
Some conferences also take place in nearby Varadero. For the last two years, the Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) has held an international workshop on “Cancer & Autoimmunity” at the Melia Marina hotel in Varadero. Varadero is a popular conference venue because it is only an hour from Havana and its beaches rank as some of the best in the world.
The Cancer & Autoimmunity Workshop is a four-day event bringing together some of the most influential experts in cancer and autoimmunity research. The workshop offers presentations and scientific discussions on cell-based immunotherapy, emerging targets in oncology, immuno-checkpoints, cancer-related inflammation, cancer biology, rheumatoid arthritis, cytokines in autoimmunity, and other current state of the art research.
QUIMICUBA, the “Congress of Chemical Sciences, Technology and Innovation,” has attracted specialists in the fields of chemical engineering, material sciences, and pharmaceuticals for the last 10 years. The Congress is organized by the Cuban Society of Chemistry (SCQ) and the Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations.
QUIMICUBA takes place in October at the International Conference Center. Last year’s conference focused on recent advances in pure and applied chemistry, biological, pharmaceuticals, materials and the chemical engineering sciences.
Cuban Surgery Congress: October
The Cuban Surgery Congress is organized and sponsored by the Cuban Society of Surgery, the Ministry of Public Health, the Medical-Surgical Research Center, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), the National Council of Scientific Societies of Health, and the University of Medical Sciences of Havana.
The scientific program allow an important exchange of experiences, reflections and knowledge, achieving a space of analysis of great value and depth on current issues in surgery.
Hominis is a congress which focuses on psychology. It is organized by the Cuban Society of Psychology. The conference is usually scheduled for late November at the International Conference Center. Last year’s edition of HOMINIS analyzed the place of psychology in well-being and sustainable development.
Each December, the International Congress on Research, Development, and Innovation or, “IDIFARMA” is held for professionals in the biopharmaceutical industry. The conference takes place in early December at the Havana International Conference Center.
Conferences by international organizations
Conferences and workshops by international corporations have also been held in Cuba. For example, the American company, Regenestem, in association with the Cuban Institute of Hematology, organized the Inter American Stem Cell Conference on stem cell therapies.
The American non-profit organization MEDICC, which promotes Cuba-U.S. cooperation in health runs annual conferences. MEDICC’s recent conferences have taken place in Varadero and Santiago de Cuba.
This list of conferences held in Havana and throughout Cuba will be updated on a regular basis. The large number of conferences illustrates why, in particular, Havana is the leading center of congresses in the region. Health conferences – another good reason to go to Cuba.