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December 8, 2004

The world's first low-cost cochlear implant

From: Hearing for Children - Dec 8, 2004

Hearing for Children (H4C) is a US non-profit charity that is dedicated to providing hearing to those who are poor and deaf-- a desparate combination.

For example, right now H4C is working to establish a project in Jordan, in the Middle East. We contacted Queen Noor (the American who married King Hussein), and she agreed to help us set the project up. She contacted the present Jordanian King's staff, and they in turn have agreed to assist in getting things going. (This, of course, very briefly describes months of work, and offers only some highlights of that effort.) What we plan is a project which, beyond providing many children with CIs, will have an on-going professional education aspect. As our website indicates (see especially the page, the state of hearing aids in the Middle East is poor, as most aids are provided by people who have little or no idea what they are doing. Thus, we provide wider benefit than merely offering implants to a few-- we also try to upgrade professional skills to provide benefit to many.

The primary barrier to serving most of the world's deaf is the high cost of cochlear implants. In response, Hearing for Children (H4C) has established an initiative to design a low-cost cochlear implant. The project is an effort to establish, worldwide, the manufacture and sale of low-cost CIs, much as the Affordable Hearing Aid Project has done. (I can send you information about this project, or mention it here, if anyone is interested.)

H4C's project is described at

There are millions of profoundly hard of hearing and deaf people in the world, and right now, and for the forseeable future, this is the best near-term option: a low-cost cochlear implant, the world's first.