Born with 100 per cent hearing loss, ten-year-old Mohammad Qasim and his four-year-old sister Mehvash Qasim underwent cochlear implant at a very young age giving them a chance to grow like a normal children. Their parents identified their hearing loss at a very early age, and today both the kids can hear perfectly well. These siblings are among the 300 successful cochlear implants performed at KEM Hospital run by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Dr Avinash Supe, the dean of the hospital said the feat was achieved because of generous donors and government funds. The hospital celebrated its achievement of 300 successful implants and invited Amruta Fadnavis as chief guest and had many panelists to emphasise upon the importance of cochlear implants.
“We have successfully performed 300 cochlear implants (adult and children included). We thank all our donors for the same,” said Dr Hetal Marfatia, head of the ENT department at KEM Hospital, Mumbai.
Emphasising on early identification and treatment, Dr Marfatia said ideally the cochlear implants need to be done before the age of two. “Early identification is very important when it comes to implants. Mohammad’s case is one such example” added Dr Marfatia.
“We identified that Mohammad couldn’t hear at all when he was nine-month-old, but got his implant done while he was 18-month-old. Today, he goes to a normal school and can talk and hear perfectly well.” Mehvash, his sister too couldn’t hear when she was born. “We got her operated while she was two-year-old,” said Muzammil Qasim, their father, who owns a pharmaceutical shop in Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai.
“Early neonatal hearing screening should ideally be made compulsory for the purpose of identification,” said Dr Neelam Sathe, ENT surgeon at KEM Hospital.
Doctors believe that these implants should ideally be done before the age of two, “If cochlear implants are performed before the age of two, then children will pick up hearing just like any other kid,” she said.
Experts say that one in every 1000 children is born with some form of hearing impairment. Out of these, 10 per cent of the children are born with severe to profound hearing loss that interferes with normal speech and language development.
Cochlear implants require for pre and post-speech therapy. “Each child need pre and post cochlear implant therapy. The child is intervened for good results. Children need therapy sessions regularly along with parents depending on the child’s progress. The child’s auditory and social skills are developed so that the child can attend regular school,” said Yogita Baviskar, AVT therapist and (recommended) speech therapist from Navi Mumbai.