National Institute of Hematology and Immunology


The Institute of Hematology and Immunology (IHI) was created as a research institute of the Ministry of Public Health on December 1st, 1966, with the mission of validating scientific research in hematology, immunology, and transfusion medicine, and providing high-level scientific and technical services. It also had the task of postgraduate teaching, mainly for the training of specialists for national coverage.

The IHI has worked steadily in the production of some reagents and biological culture media for self-sufficiency and to provide other institutions of the National Health System (NHS).

The IHI leads the National Programs of Hematology, Immunodiagnostic, and others related to the comprehensive care of patients with hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, and leukemia.

Since 2004, as part of the Regenerative Medicine Program and in collaboration with other health centers, the IHI began the implementation of adult hematopoietic stem cells in the treatment of ischemic heart disease and ischemic disorders of the lower limbs, with very promising results in line with international developments in this new field of medicine.

In all its activities, the center also includes a program of quality assurance. It is a referral center for quality control of blood grouping area and other blood components produced in Cuba.

For the diagnosis of immune system disorders and other related entities, this institute conducts humoral and cellular studies, phagocytic function and other immunological, immunochemical, and histocompatibility (HLA) investigations.

All these developments have made it possible to extend humanitarian care to a significant number of patients from other countries, especially in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. It is notable for the medical care given to over 330 children from the Chernobyl nuclear accident and 50 people affected by radiation exposure in Goiania, Brazil, and more recently, to pediatric patients from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

In educational aspects, the center is responsible for the training of Hematology specialists to cover the nation’s clinical and blood services and participates in the training of specialists in immunology. It offers postgraduate theoretical and practical-theoretical courses and recycling these and other medical professionals involved in these branches. The institute participates in the training of health technologists. It is integrated with units of secondary and tertiary levels and the centers of west Havana’s Scientific Pole (cluster of research centers).

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