Dismay in Manzanillo over the death of a girl with cystic fibrosis

Residents of the municipality of Manzanillo, in Granma, expressed their dismay at the death of 12-year-old girl Arlenis Figueredo Liceawho had cystic fibrosis.

The journalist from CMKX Radio Bayamo Roberto Mesa Matos released the news on Facebook, with an emotional message where he recalls the joy of the little girl, her childish curiosity and apparent shyness.

She said that on August 20, when Arlenis had her birthday, a press team brought her gifts and the minor looked happy and was curious about the television camera.

“Today I don’t write anymore, I can’t do it because sadness prevents it. Fly high little girl, and may God welcome you in his paradise! Rest in peace, pretty girl. A kiss to heaven, ‘princess of 9th street'”, Mesa Matos said.

Post by Roberto Mesa Matos in Facebook

The post was commented on by dozens of manzanilleros, who stated that they were overwhelmed with sadness.

“How sad for God, I did not believe it, my condolences to their parents and to Dr. Sordelicia Mustelier Necolardes and the entire health team that has always been with them,” said an Internet user.

“How sad, a while ago no child died with this pathology,” said another.

Arlenis was born on August 20, 2010 and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at nine months, when she began to experience shortness of breath, loss of appetite and other symptoms associated with the disease.

“Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease that affects the digestive and respiratory systems. We have been fighting the disease since she was nine months old,” explained Arletis Licea Jerez, the mother of the minor last year in statements to the station Rebel Radio.

The girl was hospitalized every three months for a general check-up and received school classes at home, the woman said.

In Cuba, up to 2018, some 290 patients with cystic fibrosis had been diagnosed, of which 60% were children and 40% were over 19 years of age.

Last year, Cubans also mourned the death of Holguin boy Alejandro Reyes Peñaas a result of the same disease and the lack of medicines to control it on the island.

The child’s own mother asked for help in networks to get a medicine called “Trikafta”, which could keep the minor “stable, help him, but that medicine does not exist here,” he said on that occasion. Although Cubans abroad mobilized to help them, the medicine did not arrive on time.

The case of a child in Sancti Spíritus who suffers from the same disease has also emerged. Kenny González Castro was nine years old in 2021when he was the only child in the province with cystic fibrosis of the “salt losers” variety, a rare condition that causes him to sweat profusely, putting his life at risk.

Kenny’s condition is even more peculiar due to the climatic conditions of the country, where high temperatures prevail almost all year round. In his house, the boy plays the violin while his relatives listen to him, a report from the local official media described that year. Escambray.

He cannot play in the street with his friends, or visit the beach or go to a park. The same outlet pointed out that his disease is extremely dangerous in a climate like Cuba.

In 2018 Cuban specialists announced that they would carry out a pilot study to detect cystic fibrosis in infants from five provinces of the country, and thus verify the effectiveness of a nationally manufactured diagnostic device, which was more affordable for Cuba than the foreign version.

Until then, neonatal screening for this disease was only performed on clinical suspicion.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening inherited disease, caused by a malfunction of the exocrine glands, affecting the lungs and digestive system.

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