450 cochlear implants conducted within 5 months: deputy health minister

September 17, 2019

TEHRAN – Some 450 cochlear implants have been conducted on the children diagnosed with hearing impairment during the first 5 months of the year (started March 21), Qasem Jan-Babaei, deputy health minister, has announced.

A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly hearing impaired or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin. 

Pointing to the 11 governmental cochlear implant centers across the country, he noted that it is planned to set up more of such centers in the deprived areas of the country to facilitate cochlear implant for the financially struggling residents.

On average 1,200 to 1,500 cochlear implants are done in Iran annually, he said, IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

He went on to say that over 90 percent of the surgery and treatment costs of hearing loss are paid by the Ministry of Health, adding, over the past five months the ministry has done 450 cochlear implants.

The patients who refer to the cochlear implant centers are first provided with necessary treatments such as hearing aids and in case of no improvement the patient will undergone surgery, he concluded.

Mohammad Farhadi, head of the national committee for hearing health, has said that about 3,400 infants out of one million and 300 newborns in Iran were diagnosed with hearing impairment during the Iranian calendar year 1396 (March 2017-March 2018).

About 520 thousand hearing impaired citizens are living in Iran and 1,500 infants suffering from profound hearing loss are born in the country annually, he added.

Also, Saeed Mahmoudian, head of the department of hearing health affiliated with the Ministry of Health, announced in July that cochlear implantation costs about 400 million rials (nearly $9,000) in Iran, which is partially paid by the government and charitable foundations.

Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and 34 million of these are children, World Health Organization deafness and hearing loss report states. It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will suffer disabling hearing loss.

Hearing loss may be caused by genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing. However, 60 percent of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.

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