Cuba's cochlear implant programme among its top medical achievements


hearing care

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In celebrating International Cochlear Implant (CI) Day on February 25, the small Caribbean island of Cuba hailed its cochlear implant programme—in operation since 2005—as "one of the achievements of the national health system".

Minister of Public Health José Angel Portal underlined the success of the country's CI efforts on Twitter, as the 500th paediatric implant was completed at Havana's Borrás-Marfan Paediatric Hospital. The government in Cuba provides cochlear implants free of charge—a cost of some $30k to $60k including surgery—through a programme that embraces the the neurophysiological and plasticity study of patients, and the replacement of devices.

The CI programme in Cuba has been run parallel to an early screening programme to identify hearing problems in the newborn. Both children and adults with profound sensorineural hearing loss are eligible for the programme, although the criteria differ in each case.

Source: Prensa Latina