BSMMU project gives normal life to 222 hearing impaired poor


 DHAKA, May 12, 2018 (BSS) – A total of 222 hearing impaired people have been leading normal life overcoming their impairment by having surgeries and hearing cochlear implants (CI) provided by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) since 2010.

“We have conducted 222 surgeries on poor people with hearing impairment since 2010,” BSMMU cochlear implant project’s Programme Director Prof Dr M Abul Hasnat Joarder told BSS.

“BSMMU started to provide cochlear devices to poor children and adults in 2010 under the project titled ‘Development of Cochlear Implant in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University,” he said.

As per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the project is being implemented with funding from the Social Welfare Ministry to provide free cochlear devices and operate surgeries on deprived people, especially children, he added.

The cost of a cochlear implant ranges from Taka 10 lakh to Taka 20 lakh, with which a person with hearing disabilities can get back to normal life by implanting the cochlear device in internal ear. It is one kind of replacement of a new ear.

Deafness has been a critical public health issue in the country, said Dr Joarder adding, “We have planned to operate 10 surgeries every month.”

“Around 9.6 percent of the country’s population is suffering from deafness,” he said, adding that World Health Organisation (WHO) data suggest that 16 lakh people of the country are suffering from acute deafness while 2,600 children are born every year with deafness.

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that provides a sense of sound for people who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both the ears. This device features an outside part placed behind the ear and another part that is surgically implanted under the skin.