100 Cochlear Implants for Children with Hearing Loss

100 Cochlear Implants for Children with Hearing Loss

From Nimer Adeeb

My Right to Hear is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides cochlear implants and rehabilitation to impoverished children with hearing loss. We give those children their only chance to hear the sound of love.

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It is estimated that 250-350 children need cochlear implants and extensive hearing rehabilitation early in life (ideally younger than 3 years of age) to have the best chance to improve.  However, due to the high cost of cochlear implants (ranges $27,000-$60,000 worldwide), only few children every few years get to have the procedure done in Palestine, leaving hundreds of other children waiting desperately for years. Additionally, this created a lack of infrastructure for hearing surgery and rehabilitation.

From there, My Right To Hear was founded in 2019 as a Non-profit organization (Registered in the USA in 2020) to help underserved children with hearing loss in Palestine have a chance to hear for the first time, by providing cochlear implants, hearing aids and rehabilitation at no cost.

In order to do so, we built a complete infrastructure needed to perform cochlear implants, from the ground up, starting with training local surgeons. We also collaborated with several leading hearing companies, including ASTEMED, Starkey Hearing, and MED-EL to provide the necessary equipment, cochlear implants, hearing aids and rehabilitation. Additionally, we partnered with the Audiology and Speech center at An-Najah National University for children screening and rehabilitation. We established a free rehabilitation center and trained several local centers in West Bank and Gaza to provide those services.  

With this combination of expertise, we were able to have all the necessary means needed to work with the children early on in their life until they are able to hear and speak. We also managed to lower the cost of each procedure and subsequent rehabilitation to $10,000, maximizing the number of children who will be covered. Starting in 2019, we have provided and supported more than 70 cochlear implants in West Bank and Gaza. Hundreds of hearing aids were also provided for free. Sponsors for those procedures included several benefactors and philanthropists from Palestine, Middle East and USA, along with other local and international collaborators.

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