CNEURO. The science of protection
A new medical supplies plant for the production of masks, nasopharyngeal swabs and applicators was inaugurated in the largest Antillean island as a result of the financing granted in two joint projects. The first was granted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through the PADIT platform (Coordinated Platform for Comprehensive Local Development) and the governments of Switzerland and Italy, represented by their respective embassies, and the second was the result of the agreement of European Union- Movement for Peace, Democracy and Disarmament, Cuba (EU-MPDL) and the Cuban Civil Society (Cuban Society of Bioengineering and Cuban Society of Hygiene and Epidemiology), and the Provincial Government of Havana, both managed by the Neuroscience Center (CNEURO), in whose premises the new facility is located.
The plant consists of two main areas. One for the production of three-layer surgical masks and the other for the manufacture of applicators and nasopharyngeal swabs. In the near future, the technology park will be completed with the installation of a lowtemperature sterilization line using ethylene oxide (ETO) as the sterilizing agent.
The three-layer surgical masks are made by three machines that, with the raw material provided, are capable of producing between 16 and 18 thousand units per day at full capacity, operated by five people. Its production will make it possible to meet a large part of the needs of the National Health System. In a second stage, the plan is to acquire another machine for welding the mask straps, which would double the current production.
The production of nasopharyngeal swabs and applicators is carried out by two machines and is completed with a battery of two units for sealing the product. It is capable of producing up to 200,000 units per day in cases of two pieces. These swabs have been authorized for emerging use by the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED) and work continues to obtain their Sanitary Registration. At present, they are used widely in the country to take samples for PCR.
The two production areas still have the smell of a new building and in fact, according to Eng. Antonio Luis Fernández Mastrapa, Production Director of the Neuroscience Center, only six months ago this place was covered with weeds. Today it is a reality thanks to the joint effort of several construction and logistical services companies and self-employed workers in the capital.
During the inauguration of the plant, representatives of the diplomatic corps of the European Union accredited in Cuba, the Italian and Swiss embassies, the latter with its ambassador, the UNDP, the MPDL and various organizations and countries in solidarity with the island, confirmed the efficiency of the investment. Ms. Maribel Gutiérrez, UNDP representative in Havana, said that the facility is an example of how big projects can be carried out with reduced budgets.
For his part, Dr. Mitchell Valdés Sosa, General Director of CNEURO, referred to the importance of the fact that the largest of the Antilles has the technology and production capacity needed to manufacture this type of resource.
The inauguration of this plant, a continuation of the work undertaken by CNEURO in 2020, developing and manufacturing pulmonary ventilators for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, reaffirms the commitment of this institution to the country and its efforts to achieve full technological sovereignty.