An ENT surgeon and head of the department of ENT, SJM Medical College and Hospital said “The training centre will not only cater the ENT specialists of Karnataka, but also to the rest of the country. Hitherto, most of them had to go to US or European country for their training. Now, they can undergo training here and set up their own Cochlear Implant centre”.
On quoting from a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO), he said that India was home to over 65 million deaf people- those who have lost their hearing capacity or have become hard listeners. The causes may be congenital, because of consanguinity, or owing to accidents. Some people loose their hearing efficiency due to constant hearing of loud noises which damage the eardrums.
Children who are deaf from their birth also face speech problems as they cannot learn speaking without learning. This is one of the major reasons why many deaf children become dumb as well. Though external hearing aids are generally preferred for the hard listeners, Dr.Prahallad said “such machines have limitations as they cannot treat the people who are completely deaf. In simple terms, the machines amplify the sound to make it audible, but for those who are totally deaf, such machines cannot help them later. In such case, artificial transplantation of the inner ear is the only option”.
Dr. Prahallad illustrated on how the Cochlear Implant helps in sending sound signals to the brain which enables the deaf to hear. He, who had undergone training in the US said that he wanted similar training centres to be set up in India. After implantation, the rehabilitation of the patient is important as the patient needed to be given speech therapy for months.
On the high cost of treatment, Dr.Prahallad also said the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) was inventing inexpensive machines which would possibly cost only Rs.1lakh.
Source : The Hindu..