The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and Hear the World Foundation have joined forces to enable ten Vietnamese children in need with significant hearing loss to hear and speak. The Hear the World Foundation is donating the latest cochlear implant technology and the costs of surgery, one year of auditory-verbal therapy, long-term audiological follow-up care, and product upgrades, and a guarantee on the devices for up to 15 years. The Global Foundation has spent the past nine years in Vietnam training local professionals in audiology, auditory-verbal therapy, and early education, thus developing the infrastructure of essential in-country expertise necessary for such a project to succeed.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is leading the project on site. The organization and our network of early intervention partners in Vietnam will select the candidates and accompany the families through the process. Vietnamese teachers and therapists who have been trained in auditory-verbal therapy by the Global Foundation will help the families support their children’s listening and spoken language development with their cochlear implant. Vietnamese audiologists from Sonova Vietnam will provide ongoing audiological services.
It is believed to be the first donation of its kind that provides such comprehensive and long-term support.
For children with hearing loss to learn to listen and talk, they must have access to appropriate hearing technology, locally-based professional expertise, and parent involvement. While hearing aids are usually sufficient for spoken language development in children with mild to moderate hearing losses, children with more severe hearing loss usually need cochlear implants to access the level of sound they need to develop spoken language.
There is presently no insurance coverage or state support for cochlear implants in Vietnam. Cochlear implants, the associated surgery, and the ongoing therapy and audiological support are difficult for many families in Vietnam to afford. This partnership between the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and Hear the World Foundation will help to alleviate some of this burden. It is anticipated that the first five children selected for this initiative will receive their cochlear implant in January 2019.
The Global Foundation’s focus has always been on building professional expertise and resources to support children with hearing loss in the countries where we work. This project is a nice validation of the nine years of the Global Foundation’s capacity-building work in Vietnam. We are enthusiastic and honored to partner with Hear the World Foundation on this initiative.
This video is an example of success that we look forward to replicating through this project.