Tuesday, November 25, 2014


  ....inquiring minds want to know.

 When the Spanky Project was born in 2003 we were aiding a small group of Cubans and a Dutch woman, that were helping animals.
On weekends they would provide free sterilizations for, on average, sixty dogs.

       These were done on kitchen tables in homes. 
 As their work wound up, for a number of reasons, the Spanky Project sought to help fill the void.
Our goal was to take the surgeries from the kitchen table back to the clinic table.

Below is a example of the "Permiso" we would be granted to enter Cuba with the supplies needed for our campañas.
Note this one dates back five years.
The Spanky Project has a solid track record of respecting and abiding by Cuban laws and regulations.

The Spanky Project would provide the Sociedad Patrimonio, Comunidad y Medio Ambiente (SPCMA), an NGO under the Oficina del Historiador, a list of our our supplies for approval and a list of our international team members for the preparation of D1 Cooperaion visas.
All this was done eight weeks prior to our scheduled arrival date.
Dr Carlos Delgado was our contact at the IMV. In short order we would have the Permiso for our veterinary supplies.

In 2012 Dr.Delgado suffered a heart attack and retired.
As his succesor took over we realized what a friend we and Cuban animals had in Dr.Delgado.
The "new-comer" pointed out that there is a list called the Registro de Medicamiento.
According to it, if a pharmaceutical is not on the list it is not approved for use Cuba.
Dr.Delgado, in essence, was giving us an exemption.
The Registro de Medicamiento, as analyzed by Spanky Project veterinarians, is a dated document and is focused on large animals.
It has ZERO "post op" pain control.
Should we want to register a pharmaceutical the cost would be 800CUC ($900 Canadian) per item to begin the process.
The request woud have to come from the pharmaceutical company itself
and approval is not a sure thing.

This process would be far too costly for our small organization.
As a point of reference if we were to seek to have registered the anitbiotoics, anaesthetics, post op pain control, etc. for our December 2013 trip. A trip that was cancelled because the IMV did not provided a Permiso the cost would be near $10,000 CAN.
 During my September trip the Spanky Project participated in a meeting held at SPCMA to prepare a final request of the IMV.
A Cuban working group was established to compare our list of required pharmaceuticals to the Registro de Medicamiento.
This group is chaired by SPCMA and participants include..
 - two pharmaceutical company representative
- Director of Clinica Laika in Habana Vieja 
-Provincial IMV Director
- Director of Quinta del Los Molinos
-Veterinarian Quinta de Los Moinos
Should there be no suitable substitutes the IMV will be asked that we be provided an exemption.
What we are asking is that we be allowed the non-commercial importation of  pharmaceuticals for use in defined campañas in defined areas.
This request will be forwarded in the name of the 
Oficina del Historiador.
Should we once again be "stonewalled" by the IMV this matter will be taken to another level.

Today in Havana is the follow up meeting. Hopefully the last one before presentation to the IMV.
Even though large scale efforts are on hold the work continues with educational programs and
targeted spay/neuters efforts with pharmaceuticals that had entered on previous Pemisos.
Also, we are gearing up our new equine program under the direction of Dr.Hester Massop.
Stay tune for more of the September trip.
Also, we will begin a new feature entitled 
"Dispatches from La Habana".
The Spanky Project's awesome Coordinator of Projects Susana Hurlich, resident in the Vedado district, will be sending reports about our work in Cuba.