Cochlear implants benefit children in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba
Cuban girl Barbara de la Caridad Suarez, born in the islands central province of Sancti Spiritus is now able to listen to sounds after undergoing a surgical operation for a cochlear implant in Havanas Cira Garcia hospital.
After waiting for many years due to the limitations imposed by the economic, commercial and financial US blockade on the island, the sophisticated device could finally be implanted in this girl along with two other deaf children from this province.
According to the specialists in charge of the surveillance of the three patients, the children have to be trained in how to listen to different sounds gradually, thus the recovery period might lasts several years.
The cochlear implant is an electronic device that collects the sounds from the environment and turns them into electric energy which directly stimulates -by means of electrodes inserted in the cochlea- the ear nerve endings. These signals travel to the brain and are translated into sounds.
This surgical procedure is free of charge though the device costs around 20 000 euros and the surgical operation plus the rehabilitation period cost around 60 000 euros.