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|Friday, May 18, 2001, updated at 21:36(GMT+8)|
Program to Aid Kids with Hearing Defects LaunchedChina Charity Federation (CCF) Friday launched a program to help children with hearing defects, on the eve of the "National Aid-the-Handicapped Day," which will fall on May 20.
The project is co-sponsored by the CCF, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing Branch of Shenzhen Development Bank and Beijing Orient Strong T&T Development Co., Ltd.
The Shenzhen bank said it plans to join hands with local hospitals
and medical research institutions, to offer loans to facilitate low-cost medical services affordable to children with hearing defects.
At Friday's launching ceremony, Sun Chuanlin, a 3 year-old boy with serious hearing problems, was given a cochlear implant by Beijing Orient Strong T&T Development Co. Ltd., worth 140,000 yuan.
The company is a local agent of the Australian-made cochlear implant products.
In addition, the Beijing Tongren Hospital, noted for its advanced medical research in otolaryngology and with the country's largest cochlear implant center, will conduct a cochlear implanting operation for the young recipient free of charge.
Professor Han Demin, president of the hospital, said that China is still in the initial stage in terms of treating and preventing hearing defects for children.
Han said China should not only speed up its own research and development of cochlear implant products to meet the increasingly large domestic demand, but also open more channels to help the children out of a silent world.
Statistics show that there are 20.57 million people with hearing defects in China, including 800,000 children under 7 years- old. Experts said that the cochlear implantation will see its best result if a child is treated at the age of one and-a-half to five years.
China reported the first successful cochlear implantation in 1995. Currently, around 4 million people are curable using cochlear implantation. So far, only 200 patients have been planted with the cochlear implant, but they are still not affordable or accessible to the expensive hearing tools that should be imported.
The cochlear implant is a high-tech device designed to restore the auditory sensation of a patient with hearing loss. In 1978, Dr. Graeme M. Clark in Melbourne University in Australia invented the first multi-channel cochlear implant which transfers voice to brain by stimulating the nerve fiber directly.
So far, some 30,000 people in the world have adopted to use an artificial cochlea of various types to restore hearing.
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