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Thanks to the development of a national program for the early diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa in Cuba, treatments are more efficient and patients have been able to improve the quality of their life.

The director of the program Obel Garcia Baez talked about the success of the program at the 2nd national workshop on retinitis pigmentosa taking place in Havana.

He said the prevalence of the pathology in Cuba is currently higher
than a decade earlier going up from 1.4 in 1990, when the program was first carried out to 4.4 in 2004, reported Granma newspaper Friday.

The figure includes 2,718 men and 2,378 women with higher rates in the provinces of Granma, Las Tunas and Camaguey, all in the eastern region of Cuba. The cases belong to 3,053 families and 24.3 percent of all are blood related.

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a degenerative, genetic and heredity disease
that causes the progressive death of ocular cells called photoreceptors resulting in increasing loss of eyesight.

The National Program of Retinitis Pigmentosa was an initiative led by
Dr. Orfilio Pelaez 17 years ago. It consists of a mass examination and
multidisciplinary studies on the disease, while providing continuous
medical assistance to the people suffering from the condition.

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