Cochlear Surgeries: C-Care IHK, Kampala Audiology Mark World Hearing Day with Successful Cochlear Surgeries

C-Care IHK Hospital and Kampala Audiology & Speech Centre have conducted the 34th cochlear surgeries since 2017, restoring hearing ability to individuals in Kampala. On March 2nd, 2024, two children regained their hearing following successful procedures at C-Care IHK, the pioneer in cochlear implant surgeries in Uganda.

The surgeries, conducted in partnership with Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre (KASC) and Medel, marked World Hearing Day, bringing joy to the beneficiaries and their families.

Cochlear implant surgery involves implanting an electronic device in the ear to improve or restore hearing ability, particularly for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. Early implantation is key for normal language development, educational achievement, and social participation. The partnership has significantly impacted the management of deaf individuals in Uganda, with this being the 9th round of surgeries since 2017, who after this start a journey of training in speech therapy with Kampala Audiology and speech centre.

Dr. Miriam Mutero, as the General Manager of C-Care IHK, underscored the significance of reaching the milestone of 34 cochlear surgeries and highlighted the impact these procedures have had on the lives of children. These surgeries, which usually incur costs ranging from $20,000 to $30,000, have brought life-altering healthcare within reach in Uganda, a country where hearing impairment is prevalent. Comparatively, undergoing such surgeries outside of Uganda could potentially double the expenses, ranging from $50,000 to $60,000.

Dr. Louis Okema, head of the audiology department at Gulu University, praised the successful surgeries and collaboration between the institutions. Kunobwa Fiona Kamya, Managing Director of Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre, expressed gratitude for the partnership and commitment to improving the health of Ugandans with hearing disabilities. She also encouraged early screening for children, just after birth for early management in case the indicators are seen. Screenings can be done at any hospital the child is born; for those born at C-Care IHK, they are all subjected to a screening which does not take more than 10 minutes to assess.

With over 80% of people with hearing impairment residing in developing countries like Uganda, cochlear implants offer a vital therapeutic intervention. The significant number of individuals affected by hearing disabilities underscores the importance of initiatives like these in enhancing quality of life and inclusivity.

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