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First electronic ear implant surgery helps child to hear

When he wasn’t speaking the parents of two-year-old Danyal brought their son to the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam for a check-up and found that he had severe hearing loss. This led the hospital to perform its first cochlear implant surgery. The implanted device stimulates the hearing nerve, with audiologists then able to map and programme the speech processor for Danyal’s needs.

Clinical audiologist Ali Jaffer hopes to increase confidence in undertaking these surgical procedures throughout Africa, to save patients from costs, travel and the stresses of being far from home.

Danyal will now be monitored and receive speech therapy. He is already making progress and his parents are happy to be able to communicate with him in new ways. His father describes seeing Danyal’s reactions to the sounds around him as “an emotional and magical experience”.

The hospital’s screening initiative will also enable children’s hearing to be assessed at a young age, allowing intervention before their language and speech development is affected.