SANTA CLARA .- Dozens of Cuban children suffering from profound deafness of mixed character will benefit from the introduction of modern technologies, devices and implants, such as the BAHA osseo-integrated, whose advantage lies in the possibilities of using bone conduction to produce the sound.
This procedure is applied to those patients unable to use conventional devices, lacking the ear canal or chronic otitis, or birth defects, according to Dr. Eduardo Morales Rodriguez, National Coordinator of the Cochlear Implant Program. He added that at present two Cuban children from the provinces of Granma and Holguin have used the above technique.
Agreeing with the statement by Dr. Morales, who is presiding here at the National Workshop on Cochlear Implants, which is based at the Medical University of Villa Clara, Dr. Serafin Ruiz de Zarate Ruiz said the other element is a device used to correct deep sensorineural deafness, used in patients who can not hear any sound with traditional apparatus.
He stressed that to date a total of 234 children and adolescents of all provinces are benefiting from the cochlear implant program, launched in February 2005, with surgical procedures performed only in Havana requiring very specialized personnel and technology.
He explained that currently regional centers are operating in Santa Clara, Camagüey, Granma, which care for their patients and the neighboring provinces. They have the equipment and personnel responsible for monitoring the children benefitting, and even work in the detection of new candidates for the device.
The complete treatment in any first world country reaches costs of 120 000 dollars, but in Cuba it is a free service, like the rest of the public health care, said Morales.