Cochlear implant project to be launched

Available in K.C. General Hospital, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Bengaluru and Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru

Working towards a ‘Deafness Free Karnataka’, the State Health Department will launch a Cochlear Implant Project under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakrama (RSBK) in K.C. General Hospital on Tuesday.

The project, announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the 2016-2017 budget, is aimed at identifying deafness in newborns and treating it. The project will be implemented through the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust.

As per the 2011 census of Karnataka, there are 1,939 children in the age group of 0-6 years effected with hearing impairment. Most of these children are deaf since birth. As per experts’ opinion, cochlear implant surgery offers the best results when the patient is between the ages of 8 months and 6 years.

Apart from K.C. General Hospital, the Health Department has empanelled Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health and Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru for the project. Expert surgeons will conduct the surgeries, said a release.

Children aged between 8 months and 6 years, who have been screened and diagnosed with severe profound hearing loss (if hearing aids are of no help) will be eligible for surgeries under thus project. “RBSK teams will screen children enrolled in anganwadis, government and government aided schools for hearing problems and refer such children to the jurisdictional district hospital for further evaluation and management,” the release said.

A District Cochlear Committee (set up in every district) headed by the District Surgeon and comprising a ENT surgeon, audiologist, pediatrician, speech therapist, psychiatrist and Reproductive Child Health Officer (RCHO) will evaluate the children referred by the RBSK teams. If the child is found eligible for surgery, it will be referred to the nearest empanelled hospital (K.C. General, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health or Wenlock Hospital).

“The pre-operative evaluation, implant surgery and post-operative audio verbal therapy for one year will be free of cost under this project. The total cost of the package is ₹5.1 lakhs per child,” the release added.

What is cochlear implant?

It is a small electronic device that helps children with profound hearing loss. It is placed behind the ear. Once the implant is in place, the hearing apparatus conveys audio signals to the brain.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 6:06:27 PM |

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