LAHORE: The ENT experts believe that cochlear implant and speech therapy can enable deaf persons to lead a normal life.They were speaking at a seminar on “Role and Importance of Cochlear Implant” organised by Mir Khalilur Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS) here at a local hotel on Wednesday.
Prof Daniel Lee from Korea said that causes of deafness could be medical as well as hereditary, which could be recovered through cochlear implant. “The success of restoration of hearing ability through cochlear implant is more than 99 percent,” he added. He said that this equipment was being used in several countries and hopefully its usage would also be increased in Pakistan.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq said that Punjab government has been working hard to provide quality healthcare services to the people of the province. He also suggested that, keeping in view the poor economic condition of the people, the cost of equipment should be made well within the reach of the patients.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Saeed Elahi said that it was our collective responsibility to make deaf persons active members of society. He said that Punjab government was strengthening ETN departments in public sector hospitals to enable patients with hearing impairment. Prof Dr Rashid Zia, Head of ENT Department AIMC/JHL, said that the hearing and speaking impairment could be diagnosed during pregnancy through certain tests, and any negligence could prove costly.
He stressed on maintaining cleanliness, which reduced the risk of diseases by 50 percent. Farzeen Malik, a nutritionist, stressed to take special care of nutrition of the children as any fluid imbalance could create complications. She advised to refrain from taking ready-made food from market and focus on fresh fruit juices.
Salma Iftikhar, speech therapist, said that speech therapy was a time-consuming intervention and required patience from the parents. She said that cochlear implant doesn’t mean that children would start speaking and hearing immediately. She said that there was a paucity of speech therapists in the country.
Secretary Special Education Abdullah Sumbal regretted that there were only 240 schools for special children as compared to 62,000 schools for normal children in the province. However, he said that there were two colleges for special persons in Lahore and Bahawalpur. Prof Dr Sami Saeed, Head of ENT Department FJMC/SGRH, advised to avoid unnecessary use of medicines during pregnancy as certain medicines affected speaking and hearing ability of the child. He also advised to avoid cousin marriages. He said that the process of growth of the child should be closely monitored, saying that if any child faced problems in visual, hearing and speaking qualities, then specialist should be consulted immediately. “Any child, who cannot hear, will not be able to speak as well,” he said.
Prof Dr Tahir Rasheed, ENT specialist from FJMC/SGRH, said that there were chances of 6 to 7 children with inborn hearing and speaking impairment out of every 1,000 newborn babies. He asked people to refrain from cleaning their ears with pointed objects, saying that a couple of drops of olive oil should be inserted in the ear instead.MKRMS Chairman Wasif Nagi hosted the seminar.