Farm worker Mustafizur Rahman form Pirganj of Rangpur at last finds joy in his life after authorities confirmed that they would conduct a sophisticated electronic device implant surgery in his one year and 11 month-old-baby girl’s ear to help her hear.
His daughter was born with hearing impairment, and now doctors say the child will be able to hear and speak after the cochlear implant surgery on her ears.
Doctors on Wednesday said the baby would be undergone the costly surgery at the National Institute of Ear, Nose and Throat soon.
The cochlear implant, which is a small electronic device, costs up to Tk 18 lakh, and Mustafiz, as a farm worker, found it totally impossible to arrange and spend the large amount of money for his daughter’s treatment.
‘Being a farm worker, I haven’t dreamt of affording such a treatment for my daughter,’ Mustafiz said, ‘But I managed to arrange it by the help of ENT institute,’ he said.
Like Mustafiz, 11 other low-income families got confirmation in written of cochlear implant in their children’s ears at the institute with minimal cost, up to Tk 50,000 during a programme in the institute on Wednesday.
The institute selected the 11 children from different areas of the country for the treatment.
Mustafiz said he would have to pay Tk 15,000 because he was poor.
Health minister Mohammad Nasim handed over the letters of allotment for the cochlear implant surgery to the families at the function.
‘This is an opportunity for the poor families to treat their children suffering from hearing impairment,’ he said, while speaking at the programme.
Nasim said the cochlear implant surgery, which is now available at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital and the ENT institute, would be made available at Chattogram and Rajshahi soon.
ENT institute’s director Mahmudul Hassan said they were going to start cochlear implants with the selected patients.
The institute would provide 40 cochlear implant devices to the selected patients this time, he said. The arrangement would be expanded in phases, he added.
After the implantation, the patients would get necessary treatment like hearing and speaking therapy by the institute, Mahmudul also said.
ENT surgery department head Jakaria Sarkar said there were about one lakh patients in Bangladesh in need of cochlear implant surgery.
‘The initiative to provide the treatment at minimal cost will help the poor families,’ he observed.
The social welfare ministry is providing the fund for the treatment, he further said.
Social welfare ministry secretary Zillar Rahman said his ministry was ready to provide funds to the health ministry to train physicians in this discipline.
He also said his ministry would provide funds for expanding the treatment in Chattogram and Rajshahi.