The Evercare Foundation and the Evercare Lahore Hospital launch the HEAR THIS! Programme for the Prevention & Treatment of Congenital Hearing and Speech Impairment among Vulnerable Children in Pakistan
November 28, 2022 – the Evercare Foundation and the Evercare Hospital Lahore, announced today the launch of Phase II of the Cochlear Implant Program, “HEAR THIS! The program will address the burden of congenital hearing and speech impairment in Pakistan among vulnerable children in Pakistan. Leading the event which took place at Evercare Hospital Lahore were the CEO Evercare Hospital Lahore Mr. Irfan Khan,
Lead on the Evercare Foundation Ms. Joumana Atwani, Consultant Surgeon ENT Dr. Imran Syed, Consultant Surgeon ENT Dr. Maqbool Ahmad and Evercare Foundation Board Member, Dr. Ali Chaudhry.
Speaking at the launch event, Mr Irfan said “We at Evercare are driven by an ambition to transform healthcare and create long-term positive social change for vulnerable communities who have a fundamental right to good health and wellbeing. Through the HEAR THIS! program we want to bring our clinical expertise to help address the prevalence of congenital hearing impairment which contributes to around 58% of all the physical and mental disabilities in Pakistan.”
Recent studies shows that around 3% of children in Pakistan are born with a hearing impairment and this number has increased by 30% over the past 3 years. Through the ‘Hear This!’ initiative, the Evercare Foundation aims to support annually the treatment of 40 vulnerable children, living with congenital hearing and speech impairment. To date 6 children have successfully received cochlear implants. These treatmentswere undertaken through the Evercare Hospital Lahore as a free-of-cost Cochlear Implant Surgery. Joumana Atwani explained “Our program is taking a comprehensive approach to tackle the problem including training health workers and building community-level programs for screening and early detection of hearing difficulties among children, engaging speech therapists and educators to support children post-surgery and partnering with health ministries and community-based organizations to scale up broad-based awareness and education campaigns. The program will transform the lives of these children, their families, and their communities”.
It is estimated that 1 million children live with hearing- and speech-impairment in Pakistan. Less than 5% of them attend school because of this disability. Cochlear implants are a high impact, cost effective intervention, improving both children’s quality of life and their adult life chances