The Hear the World Foundation, in partnership with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, announced it is providing 10 children with significant hearing loss in Vietnam with cochlear implants (CIs), 15 years of product support, and the locally-based support services that they need to fully develop listening and speaking skills.
According to the Foundation’s announcement, it was a “moving moment” when three-year-old Tung Lam’s new cochlear implant was activated at a children’s hospital in Hanoi. Tung’s parents had long been hoping for that day. A month earlier, their son underwent surgery for the cochlear implant and on this day, it was connected to a speech processor. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and the Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova corporate foundation, worked together to prepare for this moment. Moving forward, Tung will receive audiological care from Sonova Vietnam and auditory-verbal speech therapy services from locally-based Vietnamese therapists who have been trained by the Global Foundation.
Tung is one of 10 children with profound hearing loss, for whom the project benefits. Tung was born with hearing loss so severe, that the hearing aids he had been wearing were not sufficient for him to access the sounds needed to develop spoken language. Cochlear implant technology was his only hope to learn to listen and speak. However, as in many countries, there is no insurance coverage or state subsidization for cochlear implants in Vietnam. Tung’s family was not financially able to cover the costs.
“The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is honored to work with the Hear the World Foundation on this groundbreaking project, because it helps to overcome the financial challenges that many families in Vietnam face when it comes to obtaining cochlear implants for their children,” said Paige Stringer, founder and executive director of the Global Foundation.
Sustained engagement for long-term success
After activation of the CI, a time of intensive training begins. While children with normal hearing start babbling away quite naturally, Tung first has to learn to distinguish between sounds before he could learn to listen and then to talk. He will achieve this through auditory-verbal speech therapy services provided to him and his family by Vietnamese therapists.
“It is important to us that we not only enable children to hear, but also guarantee sustained all-round care in keeping with a well-documented standard of pediatric care protocols,” said Elena Torresani, director of the Hear the World Foundation. “This project is made possible because we have a reliable partner in the Global Foundation For Children with Hearing Loss, which has spent nine years investing in parent education and training of Vietnamese professionals, thus laying the foundations for comprehensive care of children in need with hearing loss.”
The goal: Tung will learn to listen and talk, develop as his typically hearing peers, and be prepared to attend mainstream school starting at kindergarten.
The collaboration between the Hear the World Foundation and the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is reportedly the first joint project of this kind in Vietnam.
More information on this cochlear implant donation can be found here.
Source: Hear the World Foundation
Images: Hear the World Foundation