50 children undergo operation for free to correct hearing disability
N. Yogish, a labourer, from Padil here is happy to see his four-year-old son Nishant call him “Appa”. “Earlier, he would just tap the chair and call me. He is slowly picking up words,” says Mr. Yogish, who is impressed with the progress in his son since undergoing operation for cochlear transplant in March.
Nishant is among 10 children aged below five years suffering from profound hearing loss from Dakshina Kannada, who have undergone operation for cochlear implant. This operation was done free for these children under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s Assistant to Disabled Persons Scheme.
Mr. Yogish said that he and his wife, Yashoda, a home maker, discovered about the hearing defect in their son following a test conducted in Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Natekal in November last year. “We wanted to know why my son was just responding in signs,” he said. Following tests in the PHC, they were called for further examination at the Government Wenlock Hospital. Mr. Yogish said the operation for cochlear implant was done at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Bengaluru in March. “My son is now undergoing audio therapy once in two days in a city hospital (done by an Auditory Rehabilitation Therapist and Audiologist),” he said.
The operation was done by cochlear implant surgeons J.M. Hans from New Delhi and Vasanthi R. from Bengaluru. The two surgeons performed cochlear implant operations on 40 other children aged above five years. The expenses of these operations were met under the Chief Minister and Prime Minister Relief funds.
The cochlear implant is a prosthetic device, a part of which is surgically implanted inside the cochlea.
Cochlear implants have been found to be beneficial for children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss and steeply sloping hearing loss who do not benefit adequately with hearing aids but have an intact auditory nerve.
While a hearing aid provides amplified sound energy to the ear, the cochlear implant directly provides electrical stimulation to the nerve endings in the cochlea.