SANTIAGO – Recoleta is rolling out a hearing health program. Under this initiative officials want to improve affected residents’ hearing at a more affordable price. Puente Alto is also participating.
The municipality of Recoleta, together with the Chilean Association of Municipalities with Popular Pharmacies aka Achifarp, inaugurated their first Audiological Center and Auditory Prosthesis Factories.
According to Recoleta’s website, this project will solve the problems associated with hearing loss, a pathology that is especially common among older adults.
This new initiative will primarily benefit citizens who reside in Recoleta, but also those who live elsewhere associated with Achifarp and that have an Audiological Center.
It is through this project that beneficiary patients will be able to access care, diagnosis, exams, and hearing aids for CLP$215,000 (US$303), which is 60% cheaper than the market price.
Nace una nueva iniciativa popular en Recoleta: hoy inauguramos el Centro Audiológico y fábrica de prótesis auditivas para nuestros vecinos y vecinas. #CentroAudiológicoPopular pic.twitter.com/ExsNWOJCHk
— Municipio Recoleta (@Muni_Recoleta) August 12, 2019
Recoleta’s mayor, Daniel Jadue, said that “this initiative was born from an agreement signed in Cuba, to start importing medicines, as well as technology and technical aids, in order to solve the problems associated with health.”
The hearing aids are designed in Cuba, manufactured in Italy, and customized with 3D scanner technology.
Jadue said that currently “there is a high waiting list … which indicates that about 30% of those under 25 years of age have hearing problems and in the case of older adults, more than 52% do.”
Although the main laboratory has its headquarters in Recoleta, there are diagnostic centers in both Recoleta and Puente Alto, so Puente Alto is also participating in the program.
Germán Codina, mayor of Puente Alto and vice president of Achifarp trumpeted the project, saying, “It cannot be that people are forced to suspend medical treatments due to lack of resources. Therefore, we have been working with the Association for quite some time to generate alternatives at fair prices. In this case, prostheses cost less than half than elsewhere. ”
In addition to access to prostheses, beneficiaries will be able to access a wide array of hearing-related services, including ear cleaning, impedance measurement (an evaluation of the middle ear), tonal audiometry (which determines hearing threshold), and hearing aid calibration, according to Recoleta’s website.
The program begins with a one-month trial period in both municipalities, and although they are the only ones that currently have diagnostic centers, it is expected that other municipalities with Achifarp will join the program over time.
Nelson Quiroz is Chile Today´s photographer. He also writes about youth culture and fashion, and often contributes with photo series during marches and protests.