Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad has successfully performed over 1500 cochlear implants, thus becoming the largest program in South Asia
The Apollo Cochlear Implant Clinic, the first such clinic in South India, began its services way back in 1994 at the Apollo Health City, Hyderabad under the leadership of renowned ENT Surgeon, Dr E. C. Vinaya Kumar, has achieved a major landmark, with the performing of more than 1500 Cochlear implantations. The team has acquired the distinction of being the largest Cochlear Implant Program in India and South Asia, and enters its momentous Silver Jubilee.
The Apollo Cochlear Implant program was the trailblazer for most cochlear implant programs currently running in India. Initially, the team conducted several workshops, seminars, awareness programs to educate professionals, patients and general public. It played a crucial role in popularizing the program by mentoring and training cochlear implant Surgeons, Audiologists and Rehabilitationists at Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Odisha, West Bengal etc. Thus thousands of kids in these states gained hearing ability.
The multidisciplinary Apollo Cochlear Implant team has enormous expertise in evaluating and implanting on very young children, including infants. Its expertise has enabled children and adults of all ages with hearing impairment to benefit. The patients rehabilitated through Cochlear implantation by the team are as young as 9 months old babies to 87 years old elderly populations, said Dr E. C. Vinaya Kumar, Sr. Consultant ENT Surgeon, Apollo Health City.
In the course of these 25 glorious years, the Apollo Cochlear implant clinic has won several laurels, including a world record for doing highest number of surgeries in a single day. It has the highest surgical success rate (i.e. lowest complications) compared to European multi center statistics.
The Apollo Cochlear Implant program is one of the stupendous initiatives of Apollo Health City, as it enabled a ray of hope for several parents of stone deaf little children and brought these kids into the mainstream, helping them leading a life of dignity and many are doing extremely well in their chosen path, said Dr Hari Prasad, President – Hospitals Division, Apollo Hospitals Group.
It was the Apollo Cochlear implant program which influenced the then Andhra Pradesh government to include free cochlear implant surgeries under Rajiv Aarogyasree scheme and sought the help of the NGO, Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired (SAHI). Later this model was replicated by many state governments in their health schemes and the central government too adopted it in the ADIP cochlear implant program.
About Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired (SAHI)
In November of 2004, a group of ENT surgeons, audiologists, and hospital management personnel, united with concerned citizens to form SAHI. It is an Indian NGO that aims at helping underprivileged children with impaired hearing. SARI mainly seeks to identify and aid children living in rural areas, with little or no access to modern medical treatment. Since its establishment, SAHI has been addressing this problem by means of conducting camps in remote areas of the state. Children with learning disabilities or hearing loss are given hearing aids by SAHI and those with ear diseases are given free ear surgeries. Under the Hearing Impaired Girl children project ,SAHI is also providing free cochlear implant surgeries for girl children.
SAHI is working on the prevention, awareness, identification and treatment through various activities.
We regularly conduct “Newborn hearing screening program” to detect hearing problems immediately after birth with the simple test called Oto acoustic emissions (OAE). SAHI conducts free ear camps in rural areas, slums to identify children with hearing problems and provide necessary treatment including medical and surgical at free of cost. Children require hearing aids will be provided digitally programmable hearing aids at free of cost. Part of the camps we also conduct awareness programs in the schools, community halls, etc.
SAHI initiated “Gift a Ear” project to fund children to undergo cochlear implant surgeries, initiated “Hearing Impaired Girl Child Project’ to fund free cochlear implant for the hearing impaired girl children. To date over 360 cochlear implant surgeries were funded by SAHI. SAHI also helps in providing auditory verbal therapy for children with hearing loss undergone for cochlear implant surgery and fitted with hearing aids. Auditory verbal therapy is very important task in achieving normal speech and language skills for the hearing-impaired children, outcomes of the surgery is highly dependent on the auditory verbal therapy.
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