Newborn hearing screening favors optimal child development

Newborn hearing screening favors optimal child development
Fecha de publicación: 
12 May 2022
Imagen principal: 

 The newborn hearing screening conducted in the Isle of Youth—and nationwide—will favor the child’s optimal development in case of early detection of some degree of hearing loss, often undetected during clinical examinations.

Edilberto Morales Fuentes, a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics and head of the municipal section of the Mother and Child Care Program, said that it has been mandatory since 2020 to test all children 24 or 48 hours after their birth to avoid any future speech impediment, learning disorder or socialization problem.

According to Dr. Morales Fuentes, a group of ENT specialists and nurses were previously trained in Havana on the early detection of hearing loss, which eventually, and unfortunately, leads to a disability.

He added that this procedure, first implemented in Cuba on a trial basis in 2017, involves an evaluation by a competent professional who indicates rehabilitation therapy for minors whose tests revealed any alteration. The said treatment may involve the use of prosthesis or the stimulation of other sensory pathways with a cochlear implant.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the U.S. blockade, Cuba remains committed to improve its people’s quality of life by applying this and other tests that other pediatric populations in the world cannot even afford, the doctor said.

According to a WHO report issued in March, more than 5% of the world's population (432 million adults and 34 million children) suffers from disabling hearing loss and requires rehabilitation.

The organization also estimates that by 2050 the figure will exceed 700 million (one out of every ten people) and holds that neglect in these cases accounts for an annual global cost of USD 980 billion.

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