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Media release

Thanks to a CI, Tung Lam has the chance to listen and talk

Stäfa, Switzerland, April 29th, 2019
 

The Hear the World Foundation, in partnership with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, is providing 10 children with significant hearing loss in Vietnam with cochlear implants (CIs), 15 years of product support, and the locally-based support services that they need to fully develop listening and speaking skills. 

It was a moving moment when three-year-old Tung Lam’s new cochlear implant was activated at a children’s hospital in Hanoi. The boy beamed from ear to ear! Tung Lam’s parents have long been hoping for this day. A month earlier, their son underwent surgery for the cochlear implant and on this day, it was connected to a speech processor which will help him access more sounds of life. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and the Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova corporate foundation, worked together to prepare for this special moment. Moving forward, Tung Lam will receive essential audiological care from Sonova Vietnam and auditory-verbal speech therapy services from locally-based Vietnamese therapists who have been trained by the Global Foundation.

Tung Lam is one of ten children with profound hearing loss, for whom the project benefits. Lam was born with hearing loss so severe, that the hearing aids he had been wearing were not sufficient for him to access the sounds needed to develop spoken language. Cochlear implant technology was his only hope to learn to listen and speak. However, as in many countries, there is no insurance coverage or state subsidization for cochlear implants in Vietnam. Tung Lam’s family was not financially able to cover the costs. 

“The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is honored to work 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.

Sustained engagement for long-term success

After activation of the CI, a time of intensive training begins. While children with normal hearing start babbling away quite naturally, Tung Lam first has to learn to distinguish between sounds before he can learn to listen and then to talk. He will achieve this through auditory-verbal speech therapy services provided to him and his family by Vietnamese therapists. 

“It is important to us that we not only enable children to hear, but also guarantee sustained all-round care in keeping with well documented standard of care pediatric protocols,” says Elena Torresani, Director of the Hear the World Foundation. “This project is made possible because we have a reliable partner in the Global Foundation For Children with Hearing Loss, which has spent nine years investing in parent education and training of Vietnamese professionals thus laying the foundations for comprehensive care of children in need with hearing loss.”

The goal: Tung Lam will learn to listen and talk, develop as his typically hearing peers, and be prepared to attend mainstream school starting at kindergarten. 

The collaboration between the Hear the World Foundation and the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is the first joint project of this kind in Vietnam.
 

What is a cochlear implant (CI)?

A Cochlear Implant is a highly advanced medical device and the only technology that is capable of functionally restoring one of the five senses, hearing. Cochlear implants enable people with profound hearing loss to hear again, or even to hear for the first time. Cochlear implants have two components: the implant itself or internal device, inserted beneath the scalp in an operation, and the speech processor and headpiece or externals worn behind the ear. While hearing aids are usually sufficient for children with mild to moderate hearing loss, children with profound hearing loss need cochlear implant technology, so that they can perceive the sounds of speech necessary for speech development. More information CIsA Cochlear Implant is a highly advanced medical device and the only technology that is capable of functionally restoring one of the five senses, hearing. Cochlear implants enable people with profound hearing loss to hear again, or even to hear for the first time. Cochlear implants have two components: the implant itself or internal device, inserted beneath the scalp in an operation, and the speech processor and headpiece or externals worn behind the ear. While hearing aids are usually sufficient for children with mild to moderate hearing loss, children with profound hearing loss need cochlear implant technology, so that they can perceive the sounds of speech necessary for speech development. More information on CIs

More information on this cochlear implant donation

Pictures to download:

Three-year-old Tung Lam was born with hearing loss so severe, that the hearing aids he had been wearing were not sufficient. Thanks to a cochlear implant, Tung Lam has the chance to listen and talk.

After activation of the CI, a time of intensive training begins. Tung Lam has to learn to distinguish between sounds before he can learn to listen and then to talk. He will achieve this through auditory-verbal speech therapy services provided to him and his family by Vietnamese therapists. 

The goal: Tung Lam will learn to listen and talk, develop as his typically hearing peers, and be prepared to attend mainstream school starting at kindergarten.

Further news

May
2019

Activity report 2018/19: CHF 2.57 million for people in need with hearing loss

In 2018, the Hear the World Foundation supported 23 aid projects benefiting people in need with hearing loss, and particularly children, by providing CHF 2.57 million.

April
2019

Thanks to a CI, Tung Lam has the chance to listen and talk

The Hear the World Foundation, in partnership with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, is providing 10 children with significant hearing loss in Vietnam with cochlear implants (CIs), 15 years of product support, and the locally-based support services that they need to fully develop listening and speaking skills.

November
2018

Peru: Over 31,000 children tested for hearing loss

Permanent hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities and two out of 1,000 newborns are born with hearing loss. Although Peru adopted the universal neonatal screening policy, with only 10 audiologists for 32 million habitants, newborns and infants remain untested for hearing loss. For this reason, the Hear the World Foundation and World Wide Hearing Foundation International jointly launched a program in 2016 to test underserved children in Peru for hearing loss.

September
2018

Cochlear Implant donation helps children in Vietnam to hear

The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and the Hear the World Foundation have joined forces to enable Vietnamese children in need with significant hearing loss to hear and speak. Hear the World is donating cochlear implants, the cost of the operations, auditory-verbal therapy, audiological follow-up care, and a guarantee on the devices for up to 15 years.