Donations fund cochlear implant surgery for children

Well-wisher offers cash assistance for a patient with congenital hearing loss through Cochlear Implant Program.
Well-wisher offers cash assistance for a patient with congenital hearing loss through Cochlear Implant Program.

Two young children with congenital hearing loss are set to receive free cochlear implant surgery at Yangon’s Victoria Hospital under a programme funded by community donations, Prof Soe Tin, the hospital’s chief executive advisor, said Friday.
The operations will be conducted Saturday thanks to contributions of local well-wishers—families of Tat Lann Co., and Shwe Pyi Nan Group of Companies—to the Victoria Health Support Foundation’s Cochlear Implant Programme.
The families donated US $17,000 for the cochlear implants, which are small electronic devices that can provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. A medical team led by Malaysia’s Prof Prepageran Narayanan will conduct the surgery on two boys under six years old from Yangon and Shan State.  Prof Narayanan has carried out many cochlear implant operations for Myanmar patients.
Five hearing-impaired children have undergone the surgery since the programme began in 2014.
The price for a pair of cochlear implant device is US $8,500 and the cost for the whole operation amounts to around K1 million.
Donor U Kyaw Min of Shwe Pyi Nan Group of Companies said, “I decided to make a donation after seeing my colleague’s contribution.”
Donor Shein Win of Tat Lann Construction and Decoration Co., said, “I want to create a better life for children born deaf or with hearing losses.”
Prof Soe Tin said, “Surgery at a young age can bring better results for children.”
“Parents must provide careful trainings to their children after the operation,” he said.
There are many low-income people in Myanmar with congenital deafness.
“The country’s first cochlear implant operation was conducted about three or four years ago but the device was introduced to the world over 30 years ago,” Prof Soe Tin said.
More than 50 patients have undergone the implant surgery at the hospital, he said.

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