The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified that Cuba has become the first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and syphilis, The New York Times reports. Such a designation requires bringing MTCT down to such a low level that it is no longer a public health problem.

Cuba’s successes are the result of an effort, instituted through a national universal health care system, that has included providing expecting mothers with early access to prenatal care, and providing them and their partners with HIV and syphilis testing. Efforts have also included treating women who test positive and their babies with ARVs, delivering their infants through caesarian and discouraging breastfeeding.

To read the WHO statement, click here.

To read the New York Times article, click here.