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March 3, 2004

China reports 800000 deaf kids under seven

From: Xinhua - China - Mar 3, 2004

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhuanet) -- China has over 20 million people with speech and hearing disabilities, including 800,000 deaf children under the age of seven, figures released on Wednesday, "National Ear Care Day", show.

The statistics from the Audiology Development Foundation of China also show that nearly three in every 1,000 Chinese children are born deaf.

China has made great efforts to help deaf children since "National Ear Care Day" began two years ago.

The foundation, along with Hong Kong charities, has sent doctors to rural areas of Xi'an and Tongchuan cities, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, to provide deaf children with free medical treatment.

A special hearing recovery center was also set up in Harbin, capital of the northeastern Heilongjiang Province, to offer nursing, medical treatment and language training for deaf children.

About 3,500 deaf children in Heilongjiang have received hearing recovery training, accounting for 5.7 percent of the total in the province.

Cheng Qi, an official with the Chinese agency of Austria's Artificial Cochlea Research Center, said an early transplant of artificial cochlea and scientific hearing training would play a key role in helping deaf children to recover.

Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.