Cuba celebrates progress in cochlear implant program 25 years after its inception

Today, Cuba celebrates International Cochlear Implant Day in honor of the achievements of a national program that has helped more than 500 deaf people in the 25 years of the technology’s existence. According to experts, this electronic device that converts sound signals into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted as sound publishes PL.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between one and three children per thousand are born with severe bilateral hearing loss, and one percent will require cochlear implants.

In Cuba, between 70 and 80 children each year are candidates for the implantation of a high-tech device for language rehabilitation and social integration.

The first single-channel extracochlear implantation was carried out in the country in 1987, and 10 years later, multi-channel intracochlear implants began to be installed at Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital.

Over the course of two and a half decades, Cuba has successfully developed a National Cochlear Implant Program that prioritizes children with multiple disabilities, including the deaf and blind.

It has an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental and intersectoral approach, as well as a Specialized Service for Cochlear Implantation and Complex Ear Surgery, located in the Borras Marfan Children’s Hospital in Havana, which is connected to all provinces of the country.

To date, 556 cochlear implants (10 of them bilateral) have been placed in Cuba in 543 patients, explained Dr. Sandra Bermejo, specialist in otolaryngology and head of the cochlear implant service at the Borras Marfan Children’s Hospital.

From the Specialized Service for Comprehensive Ear Surgery and Cochlear Implantation of the Children’s Hospital of the University of Borras Marfan, which hosts the National Group, Antonio Paz Cordoves, PhD, President of the Cuban Society of Otolaryngology (ORL) and Head Surgery and Cuello, explained that for the installation of a cochlear implant, a an operation that passes through the temporal bone of the skull, which provides direct access to the inner ear.

Once there, a device is placed that fires electrical stimulation directly into him and directly stimulates the cochlear nerve fibers from the cochlea. The operation is delicate and the device will be activated one to four weeks after the intervention, depending on the evolution of the patient.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the process did not stop: 13 were held in 2021, and 24 more in 2022.

Currently, he said, 131 child candidates are in the process of being evaluated. Bermejo stressed that the program “has the full support of the government and the Ministry of Health, is available to the entire country and is completely free, including technology updates.”

This is an international prestige for the training of specialists, the availability of the most advanced technologies, the provision of rehabilitation and habilitation for life, integration with family and school.

On February 25, 1957, Drs. André Journo and Charles Eyris performed the first cochlear implant in Paris, France.

Since 2009, every year on this day begins World Hearing Week, promoted by the WHO, a celebration that culminates in March 3, World Hearing Day.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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