Assistance to people with hearing impairment

2017-11-02 06:00

A new organisation has been established that seeks to bring the joy of hearing to people with severe hearing impairments in the Eastern Cape.

Joy of Hearing was officially launched on Friday, October 13th with the aim of assisting children and adults in the Eastern Cape with serious hearing impairment who are unable to cover the cost of a cochlear implant.

They will also create awareness of the challenges of hearing impaired people and act as advocates for the hearing impaired.

“There are many children and adults in the Eastern Cape who have severe-to-profound hearing loss, which can have a devastating effect on them and their families, but because of financial constraints do not have access to cochlear implant technology,” explained Dr Eben Nel, who is one of the directors.

Nel is joined on the board by Loftie Fourie and Dr Jeff Govender.

“Cochlear implants provide the opportunity to restore hearing or provide hearing for the first time to these individuals and gives them the confidence to live a full and productive life,” said Dr Nel.

The cost of having the procedure, as well as the maintenance of the apparatus, put the procedure out of reach for most.

According to Dr Nel, the organisation had Dr Francois Retief and Dr Iain Butler, ear, nose and throat surgeons who specialise in cochlear implants in the Eastern Cape, as their advisory board.

Nel said children who received a cochlear implant before the age of 2 and adults who lost their hearing at some stage showed the best results.

She said children who were born deaf, but with their hearing nerves intact, had to receive implants before the age of 5 as, otherwise, the brain could no longer learn how to hear.

  • For more information, visit www.joyofhearing.org or contact 073 232 3025.

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