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Maharashtra government scheme will fund cochlear transplant in second ear too


The Maharashtra government had started a cochlear transplant centre at the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College (IGGMC) last September. The central government project, which funds implants in one ear only, will soon be supplemented by a state government scheme to pay for an implant in the second ear too.

The central government funded scheme is called ADIP (Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/fitting of appliances), and comes under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The new state government scheme will be called ‘Shravnit Maharashtra’, where implants for second ear and rehabilitative assistance will be provided.

This means that children will not be left with hearing in one ear only. Kerala is the other state that funds implants in the second year. This will open new doors to deaf and speech impaired kids to get cochlear implants in both ears as well as complete rehabilitation post-surgery.

Apart from fitting the hearing device, the child needs rehabilitation in the form of speech therapy, audiologist training, maintaining equipment throughout its life of 5-6 years without any physical damage. All this will now be taken care of under the Shravnit Maharashtra scheme.

The cochlear transplants are allotted to children from the Ali Yavar Ganj Hospital in Mumbai, which is the coordinating agency for the project. All tests before fixing the implant are done free of cost at the Nagpur centre. The speech therapist and audiologist services to train the child after implant to hear and interpret it as language will also be done free of cost.

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