I'd like to address the fear of leaving the house with anyone under the age of four:
Having actually traveled with children under four, who do occasionally get sick, we can dispel the fear mongering based on experience. We just got back from South America with our two kids. Mandalay was 9 weeks old when we left and Kiva was 2 and a half. We stayed for 6 months (living in an Ecuadorian village).
Mandalay once had a fever, we went to the doctor and he prescribed paracetamol. Kiva travelled to the Philippines when he was 7 weeks old, China when he was 9 months. He once had a fever when we were in Chile (he was 13 months old), we took him to the hospital and they gave him paracetamol. Incidentally, our daughter currently has a fever (we are now in Canada) and has a doctor's appointment in just over an hour. I'm guessing they will prescribe paracetamol.
Or one could say we are irresponsible to travel with kids.
One could also say "Those poor people in those poor countries shouldn't have kids, it is morally irresponsible for those people to have kids because they have an inferior healthcare system (compared to our own centers of excellence)". But you know what, people in those countries do have kids. Okay you might say, they have no choice to hop on a plane to Zurich every time their kid has a fever, but you know what, wealthy white westerners choose to live and have kids in so-called developing countries.
The point is, life is not something that you can "control" in terms of being able to predict, prevent, or cure every potential danger, whether you live next door to a world famous hospital or in the bush. If you had the same worst-case scenario attitude about your own life, you would never set foot out the door. Adventurous and loving parents will take a fever or illness of their children seriously whether they are in Baden-Baden, Bali, or Botswana and will see a doctor. And by the way, I'd wager a bet that your ambassador and diplomatic staff have families in whatever country you are thinking of visiting and can recommend a top-rate doctor if needed!
Anyway, that is all just opinion. I don't know about you, but I'd always heard that Cuba has a pretty good healthcare system. Here are some facts:
In 2007, the life expectancies at birth were as follows (World Bank data):
Cuba, 78.26 years;
World, 68.76 years;
Latin America and Caribbean, 73.13 years;
high income OECD countries, 79.66 years;
United States, 77.99 years
The mortality rates for children under five in 2007 were as follows (World Bank):
Latin America and Caribbean, 26.37;
high-income OECD, 5.71;
United States, 7.60
The 2007 infant mortality rates published by the World Health Organisation in 2009 were:
High income countries, 6;
United States, 6.
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