Cubans with heart disease are facing a three-year wait for lifesaving pacemakers, as the U.S. embargo prevents the country from purchasing these devices in the global market. Some 70 elderly Cubans are currently unable to leave their hospital beds until they receive pacemakers; these patients and many others will not survive unless we send help now.

Washington’s spurious inclusion of Cuba on its “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list blocks Havana from accessing the international banking system, and severely limits its supply of hard currency. This sanction constrains Cuba’s ability to purchase pacemakers from global suppliers.

To confront this crisis, Global Health Partners is launching an urgent drive, in partnership with the Saving Lives Campaign, to deliver desperately needed pacemakers to Cuban Hospitals. Our plan is simple – to provide Cuba with as many pacemakers as possible to address this shortage; Cuba needs 2,000 pacemakers to address immediate patient needs.

GHP has sourced pacemakers from a private manufacturer that already has service technicians in Cuba, and we’ve applied for a Commerce Department export license to expedite delivery. (The embargo mandates that medical supplies bound for Cuba from anywhere in the world that have more than 10% of U.S. manufactured components require a special export license.) We aim to raise $150,000 for an initial purchase of 300 pacemakers that we hope to send in next 90 days.

We are collaborating in this campaign with a new partner, MediCuba Europa, which, like GHP, has a strong track record of delivering lifesaving medicines and medical supplies to Cuba. Dr. Helen Yaffe, a leading expert on Cuba’s public health system, is also advising in this vital effort.

Our two most recent emergency drives made a profound difference for Cuba’s healthcare system. GHP supplied Cuba with six million vaccination syringes to enable its doctors to inoculate the population with its own effective Covid vaccines. We then donated a dozen anesthesia machines and tons of surgical supplies to Havana’s Calixto Garcia Hospital, where operating rooms had stood empty for lack of this vital surgical equipment. We’re now building on these successes to urgently address the pacemaker shortage.

This new GHP aid initiative adds to our 2024 commitment to provide Cuba with six 40’ containers of medical supplies and millions of dollars in medicines for rare diseases. Since 1994, we have delivered more than $260,000,000 in medical aid to Cuba. GHP’s large scale medical deliveries are not a substitute for normal trade between Cuba and the global community, a humanitarian necessity blocked by the embargo. But at this critical moment we can act together to alleviate suffering by bolstering Cuba’s beleaguered health care system with lifesaving pacemakers.

Please join us now to build this crucial campaign!