Stäfa, Switzerland, September 20, 2018

The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss, a United States-based nonprofit organization, and the Swiss Hear the World Foundation have joined forces to enable ten Vietnamese children in need with significant hearing loss to hear and speak. The Hear the World Foundation – the corporate foundation of Sonova, is donating the latest cochlear implant technology, the cost of the operations, one year of auditory-verbal therapy, long-term audiological follow-up care, product upgrades, and a guarantee on the devices for up to 15 years. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has spent the past nine years building up local capacity and thus the necessary foundations by training Vietnamese professionals.

The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is leading the project on site. The organization and its network of early intervention partners in Vietnam will select the candidates and accompany the families through the process. Vietnamese teachers and therapists who have been trained in auditory-verbal therapy by the Global Foundation will help the families support their children’s listening and spoken language development with their cochlear implant. Vietnamese audiologists from Sonova Vietnam will provide ongoing audiological services at no charge to the families.

Hearing, speaking and age-appropriate development for children
Thanks to the donation of the latest Cochlear Implant technology from Advanced Bionics, families in need will receive the full spectrum of services needed for optimal outcomes in listening and spoken language development for their children with hearing loss. In January 2019, the first five children are set to be given their cochlear implants – and thus the chance to develop according to their age and to live a life without limitations.  

In order to enable children with hearing loss to hear and learn to speak, it is essential that their hearing loss be detected as early as possible, that they are provided with the right hearing solutions for their degree of hearing loss, and that they receive trained support from their parents and local experts. While hearing aids are usually sufficient for children with mild to moderate hearing loss, children with more profound hearing losses need cochlear implants to perceive the sounds necessary for listening and spoken language development. 

No public financing for cochlear implants – private support needed
The problem: in Vietnam, like in many other developing countries, there is no health insurance coverage or state subsidization for cochlear implants. The implants, associated surgery, auditory-verbal therapy, long-term audiological follow-up care, and lifelong costs of device maintenance are challenging for many families in Vietnam to afford.

“The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is honored to work together with the Hear the World Foundation on this groundbreaking project, because it helps to overcome the financial challenges that many families in Vietnam face when it comes to obtaining cochlear implants for their children,” explains Paige Stringer, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss. “We are proud,” adds Elena Torresani, Director of the Hear the World Foundation, “that our collaboration is bearing fruit and that after years of developmental work, we can now provide comprehensive care for children in need with all kinds of hearing loss.”

Further information: 
More about the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss you will find here.
More on the cochlear implant donation you will find here.
And more about the developmental work to build up local resources in Vietnam can be found here.