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Cuban CI Program

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 29.- The representative of the Australian firm, Cochlear, Luis Rigat, extolled the Cuban government’s effort in guaranteeing the National Program for cochlear implant which has internationally recognized.


In exclusive statements to ACN, Rigat said the Cuban program was “extraordinary” especially if taken into account how expensive cochlear implants are.


In about a decade, 224 Cubans suffering deep hearing loss have received the implant free of charge, of them 216 children including 27 deaf and blind.


The medical treatment includes rehabilitation and audiology tests carried out not only in Havana but in regional centers established in Villa Clara, Camagüey and Granma, where there is qualified staff to lead the therapy, said doctor Eduardo Morales, Program’s Coordinator.


According to Rigar, Cuba is one of 150 countries where implants are used and noted than in the world more than 200,000 people have benefited from the technology.


Cochlear manufactures two types of implants: cochlear in people with deep hearing loss, and BAHA for people with conductive or transmission hearing loss.


Rigar announced that Cuba recently bought the first BAHA units that will be used on children.


The BAHA implant consists basically on anchoring a tiny titanium screw in the bone behind the outer ear that will make sounds flow straight into the inner ear. Through the implant an echo processing device is connected helping the patient hear the sounds.


The Australian firm is currently developing the fifth generation of cochlear implants and the third of BAHA, said Rigat, who participated in the 8th Conference of the Cuban Society of Otorhinolaryngology recently held in Havana. (acn).