QC to help the hearing impaired in Kosovo

November 12, 2012 - 5:07:23 am



Qatar Charity Executive Director Mohammed Al Ghamdi (left) exchanging the document with Prof Dr Mazen Mohammed Al Hajri, at QC Headquarters.

DOHA: Qatar Charity (QC) yesterday signed an agreement with an international medical specialist to provide cochlear electronic implants for the deaf in Kosovo.

This is part of a project that aims to carry out cochlear electronic implants for needy deaf people in a number of Arab and Islamic countries suffering from the effect of wars

The agreement was signed at QC Headquarters between Qatar Charity Executive Director Mohammed Al Ghamdi and scientist Prof Dr Mazen Mohammed Al Hajri, a global specialist in electronic implants and the treatment of deafness, and an ear, nose and throat consultant.

QC will fund the cost of the implants, which cost around QR85,000 each and will be installed by Al Hajri at no cost.  The project is implemented under the slogan ‘implant it and change their lives’

Al Hajri will also train the doctors assisting him during the operation in order that they are later able to perform the operations alone and carry out rehabilitation of the targeted children by training them in pronunciation.

Al Hajri will visit Kosovo from November 18 to 22 to develop seven implants, five of which were funded by QC and two via donations. The doctor will also begin to interview patients, sorting cases in order of priority and determining the type of implant required.  

The first phase of this project provided cochlear implants for deaf children in Gaza and began in September.  

To date five children have benefitted from the scheme, with operations being carried out and follow-up treatment including speech rehabilitation. 

“After the success achieved providing implants for children in Gaza under the agreement signed between Qatar Charity and Dr Al Hajri, the next phase in Kosova comes within the framework of giving priority to countries that suffer from remnants of war and high levels of deafness,” said Mohammed Ali Al Ghamdi, QC’s Executive Director for International Development.

The cochlear electronic implant is a device planted under the skin behind the ear with a wire that extends in an innovative way. The devices are implanted using laparoscopic surgery. 

They can be used in deaf mutes when sounds do not reach the nerve, meaning the patient who could not hear anything becomes able to hear normally, even able to hear whispering, Al Hajri explained. According to Al Hajri there are 22 million deaf mutes in the Arab and Islamic world and a large proportion of them need cochlear implants to enable them to live a normal life.

Educating a deaf child costs more than four to five times that of a hearing child and the vast majority of these children do not enter further or higher education, or get jobs, leading to a loss in education as well as an economic loss in terms of manpower and a lifetime dependent on others.

A lower cost version of the implants are now being manufactured, which would widen availability of the procedure considerably. 

QC has urged the public to contribute to the support of this programme and other similar programmes for the deaf in the Arab and Muslim world, in recognition of the importance of such work. The Peninsula

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