Cousin marriages cause 70 percent of children born with hearing loss in Pakistan (experts)


By M. Waqar Bhatti

Cousin marriages are responsible for 70% of hearing loss in newborns in Pakistan, where each year two to three percent of children are born with hearing loss, health experts from the United States said Tuesday. Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS).

They said that children born with hearing loss also suffer from a lack of mental growth, and the ideal time for internal hearing aid implantation is the age of two to three, as a child learns to talk and his sense of humor is strengthened for three years. at four years old.

This device cannot be installed after the age of three and a half, and if this implant is performed after this time, it will be useless and money will be wasted because the child’s ability to store and hear words n ‘It’s gone, they said while addressing the sessions of the 3rd Cochlear Implants Workshop hosted by the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at Dow University of Health Sciences.

The main guest of the closing ceremony was the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Saeed Quraishy, ​​while the guest of honor was Faisal Edhi, director of the Edhi Foundation. Training on cochlear implants was given to doctors involved in ear and nose surgery and who came from different parts of the country to participate in the workshop.

Prof Quraishy said the number of people seen as a burden on society can be reduced in Pakistan with the help of cochlear implants, an expensive but extremely effective treatment for children born with hearing loss. There is still a lot of work to be done in this area to make this treatment cheaper and more effective, he added.

Dow University of Health Sciences pro vice-chancellor Professor Nusrat Shah said cousin marriages should be stopped to prevent the birth of children with deformities. She stressed the need to create awareness in this regard.

The medical community and religious scholars should educate and educate the masses that it is not compulsory to marry cousins, she said, adding that marriage of cousins ​​is allowed but it is not. is not mandatory and should be avoided at all costs.

Prof. Fauzia Parveen, Director, Dow International Medical College; Professor Shuja Farrukh, chairman of the ENT department; Prof Salman Matiullah Sheikh, Prof Zeba Ahmed, Head of ENT Unit II, Dow University; Professor Sareen Naz; Dr Iqbal Khan; and Dr Najam-ul-Haq addressed the workshop, among others.

Professor Iqbal Khayani said that as of December 2019, 736,900 children worldwide have had cochlear implants and their results are positive. The cost of cochlear implants, preoperative tests and hospitalization are expensive; therefore, strict procedures are followed to determine the appropriate candidate for cochlear implant surgery.

Pakistan’s cochlear implant program started 12 to 15 years ago. In this regard, Dow University has signed a memorandum of understanding with a UK charity. During the first phase of the program in 2012-2013, an audiologist, a speech-language pathologist and two cochlear implant surgeons were sent to London for training, and Dow University funded cochlear implants in 52 children with its own funds. efforts and funds, but many have signed up children are still deprived of this treatment due to financial problems.

After a hiatus of four to five years, the program was partially relaunched with the efforts of a few NGOs and Dow University, which slowed down unnecessarily. So far, 65 pediatric cochlear implant operations have been performed at Dow University Hospital.

Faisal Edhi said the Edhi Foundation has helped many organizations, including Dow University, in their charitable work and will continue to serve humanity. He said the depreciation of the rupee increased the dollar’s exchange rate, but the Edhi Foundation would not change the nature of its services.


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