• 4/1/2015
    The Audiology and Balance Unit at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) last month organized an orientation meeting for children with cochlear implants and their families.

    A cochlear implant is an electronic device that enhances the sense of sound for people with a hearing impairment.

    The meeting was chaired by Dr. Khalid Abdul Hadi, Head of the Audiology and Balance Unit, and was led by Dr. Maha Sleiteen, specialist at the unit.

    19 families along with HMC specialists and representatives from the cochlear manufacturing company participated in the meeting. The event built on the regular activities of the unit to ensure the success of the electronic cochlear implant and to utilize the latest technologies for the surgical procedure.

    During the lecture, a number of hearing and speech therapists from the unit highlighted the significant role of families in children’s care, stating that with the family’s support about 90 percent children undergoing speech rehabilitation are able to improve. The team also presented visual recordings of children with cochlear implants and their subsequent development of speech from the time of the implant until their current stage.

    The families were provided with information on the functions of the cochlear devices and an overview of the problems that may occur when using the equipment and their respective solutions.

    Dr. Abdul Hadi stated: “The cochlear equipment used at HMC is considered to be the most advanced equipment internationally. Qatar is also one of the first countries in the region to implement a National Program for Early Detection of Hearing Impairment, which is committed to detecting children born with a hearing disorder at the earliest possible stage and treating them accordingly.”

    He explained further that under this program, as many as 135 cochlear implants have been performed on children aged between one to three years since the cochlear implants program began in 2005. About 10 cases are currently being prepared for implantation. The success of this procedure is found to be between 90 to 100 percent.”

    Dr. Al Sleiteen stressed the importance of preparing the child before the procedure. “The preparation includes installation of hearing aids and providing children with auditory-speech training to stimulate the hearing nerve and the brain which contributes to the success of the cochlear implantation and also helps the child acquire language skills. Family support in training is also significant to the child’s language development.”