The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, a United States-based nonprofit organization, and the Swiss Hear the World Foundation have joined forces to enable 10 Vietnamese children in need with significant hearing loss to hear and speak, Hear the World announced.
The Hear the World Foundation is donating the latest cochlear implant technology from Advanced Bionics, the cost of the operations, one year of auditory-verbal therapy, long-term audiological follow-up care, product upgrades, and a guarantee on the devices for up to 15 years. The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss has spent the past nine years building up local capacity and thus the necessary foundations by training Vietnamese professionals.
The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is leading the project on-site, according the announcement. The organization and its network of early intervention partners in Vietnam will select the candidates and accompany the families through the process. Vietnamese teachers and therapists who have been trained in auditory-verbal therapy by the Global Foundation will help the families support their children’s listening and spoken language development with their cochlear implants. Vietnamese audiologists from Sonova Vietnam will provide ongoing audiological services at no charge to the families.
Hearing, speaking, and age-appropriate development for children in need
Thanks to the donation, families in need will receive the full spectrum of services needed for optimal outcomes in listening and spoken language development for their children with hearing loss, said Hear the World Foundation; in January 2019, the first five children are set to be given their cochlear implants.
In order to enable children with hearing loss to hear and learn to speak, it is important that their hearing loss be detected as early as possible, that they are provided with the right hearing solutions for their degree of hearing loss, and that they receive trained support from their parents and local experts. While hearing aids are usually sufficient for children with mild to moderate hearing loss, children with more profound hearing losses may need cochlear implants to perceive the sounds necessary for listening and spoken language development.
No public financing for Cochlear Implants – private support needed
The implants, associated surgery, auditory-verbal therapy, long-term audiological follow-up care, and lifelong costs of device maintenance are challenging for many families in Vietnam to afford, said Hear the World.
“The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is honored to work together 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,” explains Paige Stringer, founder and executive director of the Global Foundation.
“We are proud,” adds Elena Torresani, director of the Hear the World Foundation, “that our collaboration is bearing fruit and that after years of developmental work, we can now provide comprehensive care for children in need with all kinds of hearing loss.”
About the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss
The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is an international nonprofit organization based in the United States. It aims to make a direct and lasting impact on children 0-6 years of age around the world who are deaf or hard-of-hearing by providing them access to the early identification, hearing technology, trained professionals, and resources they need to learn to listen, talk, and achieve their potential. The organization works with partners in low- and middle-income countries to identify gaps in hearing health care and early education support systems. It helps to develop locally-based expertise and services so that professionals in a country are equipped to provide sustainable care to children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and their families. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss currently has programs in Vietnam and Mongolia.
About the Hear the World Foundation
Founded in 2006 by Sonova, a provider of hearing solutions, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in hearing loss prevention. The foundation focuses particularly on projects for children with hearing loss, enabling them to develop to their fullest potential. Since its establishment, the nonprofit Swiss foundation has supported over 90 projects all around the world with funding, hearing aid technology, and expertise. More than 100 high-profile ambassadors, such as Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Cindy Crawford, Annie Lennox, and Sting support Hear the World as ambassadors for conscious hearing.