Needy kids get WB Govt help for costly implant

The parents of Anwesha, who was born hearing-and-speech impaired, have been running from pillar to post for their only daughter’s treatment for more than four years. When speech therapy for over two years did not work on the six-year old, doctors advised a cochlear implant.

Unable to arrange the fund, her parents had almost given up when they got a call from the doctors of the ENT department of the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER), saying they would conduct the implant free of cost.

Anwesha, along with three other children, will get cochlear implant free of cost on September 4 at the IPGMER.

Scheme for the needy

The ENT department at IPGMER has been chosen as the Centre of Excellence and the referral center for the state under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness by the ministry of health. Accordingly , the ministry will provide the implant while IPGMER will conduct tests, chose the patients, provide hospitalization and facilitate the transplant.

“The scheme will be a huge relief for poor parents who cannot afford the cost of the transplant. The MoU on this was signed only 26 days ago. IPGMER director who took charge recently was very keen and hence we could proceed this fast. All the four children have been admitted on Tuesday to prepare for the implant,“ said ENT head Arunabha Sengupta.

Eligibility for the scheme

To be eligible for the scheme, family income of the patient should be Rs 15,000 and below and heshe should have disability certificate from the concerned authority . The upper age limit for a child with pre-lingual deafness (where the child is born with a congenital condition or lost hearing at infancy) is 6 years of age while for those with post-lingual deafness it is 12 years. The child should not have any other underlying health problem.

The speech therapy after the transplant will be taken care of by the National Institute for Hearing Handicapped, Bonhooghly .