DUHS seeks funding for more Cochlear Implant surgeries

KARACHI: Dow University of Health Sciences seeks funds to do more Cochlear Implant surgeries.

A DUHS release here Monday said Pakistan is a developing country having prevalence of certain indigenous health issues since its inception.

Hearing impairment is one of the major issue pounding unnecessary burden on the society. According to a surveys, about15 % of the population is suffering from hearing impairment, majority of them are due to preventable causes. Share amount of people suffered from sensory neural hearing loss9SNHL) due to congenital reasons and if it is not detected & rehabilitated early, it can leads to Deaf mutes.

Cases of congenital SNHL are increasing day by day due to variety of socio-cultural reasons in our region. In vast majority of these cases, conventional rehab measures with the use of hearing aids and/or speech therapy are not much beneficial. Cochlear implant is relatively newer technique that can cater the needs of majority of such cases if they meet the criteria of cochlear implant candidacy. The major concerned in its applicability all over the globe, is the cost of implant, pre-implant assessment and post implant rehabilitation.

The cost incurred in private sector in Pakistan is very high (25000 USD) which cannot be afforded by many parents especially from lower and middle class.

Considering the gravity of the situation, Dow University of Health Sciences, launched its Cochlear implant program with the aim of implanting the needy & suitable candidates of the families who cannot afford the cost. We also endeavour to setup fully equipped audio-vestibular institute for pre- implant assessment and post -implant rehabilitation. Estimated cost of implant and other expenses is 15000 USD. Initial funding of Rupees 10 million was pooled by DUHS. We approached and requested philanthropists and NGO’s for donations and zakat funds to contribute in the pool for running the program successfully in future.

Up till now 27 cases had been implanted free of charge after selection by standard international criteria of cochlear implant candidacy. The implantation was done in December 2012 (Two cases), July 2013 (Two cases) and November 2014 (09 cases) and March 2015 (14 cases).

They are visiting to a private sector rehabilitation centre at subsidiary rates as a temporary arrangement till our Audio vestibular institute will be established. We have around 400 registered candidates waiting for the implant.

This time, Cochlear Implant Centre, DUHS planned training workshop on Cochlear Implant with lectures and live demonstration of implant surgeries from 28th to 30th September 2015. The Centre has selected 12 candidates from registered patients for cochlear implant. This time, it aim of the program is to educate and train postgraduates and junior practicing otologist regarding cochlear implant besides implanting the suitable registered candidates.

The Centre request all the philanthropists and NGO’s to step forward and donate generously towards this noble cause of helping the poor & economically weak families to adjust their child as normal and useful member of the society. This will truly reduce the disability burden on the nation & society as a whole.