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During the 1960s, Cuba embarked on a massive national effort to greatly improve the health, education and welfare of all its citizens, many of whom were denied these rights prior to 1959. Preventive care, including vaccinations, have resulted in the life expectancy in Cuba to have increased to be on par with modern Western nations. However, cardiovascular disease, cancer and cerebrovascular diseases continue to take their toll on the Cuban population. It is feared that when the Embargo is lifted, Cubans will have easy access to abundant fat-laden or carbohydrate rich foods which will further cause problems such as obesity and diabetes.

Healthcare in Cuba is free but chronic shortages of medical equipment, supplies and prescription medications make delivery of quality healthcare difficult in Cuba. Recent sales by USA companies to Cuba may help alleviate these problems in the future.

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