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HearVietnam: Thanks to a CI, Tung Lam has the Chance to Listen and Talk


Thanks to a cochlear implant, Tung Lam has the chance to listen and talk 

Hear the World Foundation and Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss are donating cochlear implants and habilitation services to ten children with hearing loss in Vietnam

Three-year-old Tung Lam was born with hearing loss so severe, that the hearing aids he had been wearing were not sufficient. Thanks to a cochlear implant, Tung Lam has the chance to listen and talk.

Stäfa, Switzerland (April 29th, 2019) – The Hear the World Foundation, in partnership with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, is providing 10 children with significant hearing loss in Vietnam with cochlear implants (CIs), 15 years of product support, and the locally-based support services that they need to fully develop listening and speaking skills.

It was a moving moment when three-year-old Tung Lam’s new cochlear implant was activated at a children’s hospital in Hanoi. The boy beamed from ear to ear! Tung Lam’s parents have long been hoping for this day. A month earlier, their son underwent surgery for the cochlear implant and on this day, it was connected to a speech processor which will help him access more sounds of life. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and the Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova corporate foundation, worked together to prepare for this special moment. Moving forward, Tung Lam will receive essential audiological care from Sonova Vietnam and auditory-verbal speech therapy services from locally-based Vietnamese therapists who have been trained by the Global Foundation.

Tung Lam is one of ten children with profound hearing loss, for whom the project benefits. Lam was born with hearing loss so severe, that the hearing aids he had been wearing were not sufficient for him to access the sounds needed to develop spoken language. Cochlear implant technology was his only hope to learn to listen and speak. However, as in many countries, there is no insurance coverage or state subsidization for cochlear implants in Vietnam. Tung Lam’s family was not financially able to cover the costs.

“The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is honored to work with the Hear the World Foundation on this groundbreaking project, because it helps to overcome the financial challenges that many families in Vietnam face when it comes to obtaining cochlear implants for their children,” explains Paige Stringer, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Foundation.

Sustained engagement for long-term success

After activation of the CI, a time of intensive training begins. While children with normal hearing start babbling away quite naturally, Tung Lam first has to learn to distinguish between sounds before he can learn to listen and then to talk. He will achieve this through auditory-verbal speech therapy services provided to him and his family by Vietnamese therapists.

“It is important to us that we not only enable children to hear, but also guarantee sustained all-round care in keeping with well documented standard of care pediatric protocols,” says Elena Torresani, Director of the Hear the World Foundation. “This project is made possible because we have a reliable partner in the Global Foundation For Children with Hearing Loss, which has spent nine years investing in parent education and training of Vietnamese professionals thus laying the foundations for comprehensive care of children in need with hearing loss." The goal: Tung Lam will learn to listen and talk, develop as his typically hearing peers, and be prepared to attend mainstream school starting at kindergarten.

The collaboration between the Hear the World Foundation and the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is the first joint project of this kind in Vietnam.

What is a cochlear implant (CI)?

A Cochlear Implant is a highly advanced medical device and the only technology that is capable of functionally restoring one of the five senses, hearing. Cochlear implants enable people with profound hearing loss to hear again, or even to hear for the first time. Cochlear implants have two components: the implant itself or internal device, inserted beneath the scalp in an operation, and the speech processor and headpiece or externals worn behind the ear. While hearing aids are usually sufficient for children with mild to moderate hearing loss, children with profound hearing loss need cochlear implant technology, so that they can perceive the sounds of speech necessary for speech development. More information CIs

More information on this cochlear implant donation can be found here

A video of Tung Lam's story can be found here

About the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss

The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is an international nonprofit organization based in the United States. It aims to make a direct and lasting impact on children 0-6 years of age around the world who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing them access to the early identification, hearing technology, trained professionals, and resources they need to learn to listen and talk and achieve their potential. The organization works with partners in low- and middle-income countries to identify gaps in hearing health care and early education support systems. It helps to develop locally-based expertise and services so that professionals in a country are equipped to provide sustainable care to children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss currently has programs in Vietnam and Mongolia.

About the Hear the World Foundation

Founded in 2006 by Sonova, the leading provider of hearing solutions, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in hearing loss prevention. The foundation focuses particularly on projects for children with hearing loss, enabling them to develop to their fullest potential. Since its establishment, the non-profit Swiss foundation has supported over 90 projects all around the world with funding, hearing aid technology and expertise. More than 100 high-profile ambassadors, such as Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Cindy Crawford, Annie Lennox, and Sting support Hear the World as ambassadors for conscious hearing.

4 live webinars | January 22 + 29 | February 19 + 26 | 12:00 pm EST | Adult Perceptions of Cochlear Implants: Helping Your Patie