Havana, Cuba, 30 March 2015 A regional committee of independent experts convened by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) visited Cuba last week to analyze the country's progress toward the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis.

"Cuba is the first country in the world to initiate a formal validation process for these diseases", said Adele Benzaken, copresident of the regional committee, together with Merceline Dahl-Regis, during a March 27 press conference in Havana.

The validation process has three stages. The first involves information collection in the country and the presentation of a national report. The second involves a visit by an independent committee of experts, and the third consists of formal validation by PAHO/WHO. Cuba has just completed the second stage.