Jose A. Vidal
Published in

Jose A. Vidal

Deaf people in Healthcare Systems: spend in risks or invest in Health

If we revise OMS numbers, almost 1.500 million people around the world, live with some level of hearing loss, and 430 of these need some grade of rehabilitation. In 2050, estimations say than these numbers are going to increase up to 2.500 and 700 million, respectively.

Causes of hearing loss can have different reasons, since genetic heritage, problems at birth, several infection diseases, chronic otitis, exposition to strong sounds, use ototoxic medicines or aging.

In young population, close to 60% of hearing loss is caused by otitis and other complications which can be prevented by appropriate measures in public health. But in this technological world with a lot of devices to play audio, 1.000 million young people are in risk of suffering a hearing loss avoidable and permanent.

A hearing loss not treated properly generates serious cost to healthcare systems at global level, estimated in 980 million of dollars. It´s not necessary to mention how important an early detection and diagnostic is, based on adequate healthcare assistance. Apart from the cost- efficacy point of view for Governments and Healthcare systems, people and their families.

Just 17% of these patients, can benefit from this possibility of having a hearing aid. This percentage has low probability of changing at global level, due to location and patients´ economic level.

To improve healthcare services to this community of patients, it would just be necessary to invest 1,40 dollars per person and 10 years later, revenues could be estimated in 16 dollars, per one invested.

Nowadays, cochlear implant is considered one of the most important medical advances and the most important in hearing health field. More than 300 thousand people around the world and more than 18 thousand in Spain use this device with different results, but with a common signal, these people still have hearing disability.

Iker Sertucha is an Institutional Deaf Leader in Spain.

I have always been linked to this deaf community, because one of my best friends, Iker Sertucha, is part of it. Apart from this disability, he had the chance of practicing sport at professional level, being part of RC Deportivo de La Coruña and Spanish National Deaf Team, and at academic level he completed his studies in Political Sciences and Sociology (Degree). We´ve been through these fields together and this has joined us and our families.

I respect him a lot, because he refocused his life leaving things better than he found them, created that legacy thinking about deaf community to fight for their rights so that they are not affected by this deaf experience, which Iker suffered in his life. In this sense, for more than ten years he has been leading FAXP, apart from taking part in CNSE and CERMI.

During these days and weeks, we have been chatting a lot about prevention medicine, early diagnostics, etc. That´s the reason why I invited him, to share his social and healthcare vision about disability, society and his community.

ES version


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This month, just in Spanish. 😉

Source: Spanish version.




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