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Dept of ENT at SRIHER in Chennai celebrates 17th year of cochlear implant surgery

Our Bureau, Chennai
Friday, January 20, 2023, 17:10 Hrs  [IST]

The Department of ENT, Head  and Neck Surgery at the Sree Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), a deemed-to-be-university at Porur in Chennai, has celebrated the 17th year of its first cochlear implant surgery on January 20. The surgery was done on a three-year old girl on January 20, 2006.
Within the last 17 years, according to sources from the university, the department has conducted 282 cochlear implant surgeries on deaf and dumb children below five years. Out of these 60 children, all of them are now normal and students of various schools and colleges have attended the anniversary function on Friday, said Dr. L Somu, HoD of the department.
While speaking to Pharmabiz, he said the first girl child who had undergone the surgery is now a student of B Com in a college in Chennai. Every year January 20 is celebrated as the Cochlear Implant Day by the department of the university. He said there should be a greater awareness about the cochlear implant programme so that no child in the country will be left out for want of this surgery. All the children who underwent the surgery in the last 17 years, assembled at the university as part of the function and they recited versions from Thirukkural and attended dance and music programs. All the 282 children are able to speak, write and hear clearly and do their jobs without anybody’s help, said Dr. Somu. 
He further said, out of the 282 surgeries, 197 were performed on the benefits of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme. The cochlear implant surgery gives the children two benefits, speaking and hearing abilities.
Talking about the significance of the surgery, the vice-chancellor of the university, Dr.P.V. Vijayaraghavan said all medical colleges in the country need to have a department for speech, language and hearing sciences, so that the benefit of cochlear implant surgery can be fully utilized. He said with government and private insurance facilities, the department can make a revolution in the field of cochlear implant surgery and ensure that no child is left deaf and dumb in Tamil Nadu.
The Member of Parliament, Dr. Kalanidhi Veeraswami, was the chief guest at the function.
Dr. Prakash Boominathan, Principal, Sri Ramachandra Faculty of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, said if the surgery is done early the child can learn to speak fluently and join school like other normal children.


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