Hyderabad, May 3rd, 2018: IPL Sunrisers team members, Rashid Khan, Carlos Brathwaite, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and Tom Moody, joined the celebration of over 70 hearing impaired girls benefitting from the 'Hearing Impaired Girl Child Project' (HIGCP), initiated by Apollo Hospitals & SAHI, three years ago, on Thursday at Apollo Medical College, Jubilee Hills. The project was incidentally launched by the Sunrisers team in 2015. Also present on the occasion were Dr. Sangita Reddy, Ms. Upasana Kamineni & ENT Surgeons Dr. EC Vinaya Kumar, Dr. K Rambabu, Dr. Jaswinder Singh and other consultants. The IPL team members later interacted with the girls, besides playing cricket with them.
As per WHO estimates, approximately 63 million people suffer from significant hearing impairment every year in India. 4-5 babies in every 1000 born suffer from severe to profound hearing loss in India. If left untreated in the first 3-5 years of life, these children end up with hearing and speech disorders throughout their lifetime.
HIGCP has been helping hearing impaired girls under the age of fifteen, by providing the state-of-the-art Cochlear implant and performing the surgery, free of cost. HIGCP bears the entire cost of approximate Rs. 8 lakhs per child. The one-year Auditory Verbal Therapy required Post-surgery, is funded by Pink Crocodile, an international NGO.
We have a strong rationale to focus on the girl child for this project, says Dr E.C. Vinay Kumar, Head, Dept, of ENT, Apollo Health City and Secretary, SAHI. The reasons are varied, a hearing-impaired girl is at a greater risk of facing abuse both physically and mentally. Historically too, the needs of a female child is often neglected by parents and the prohibitive cost of treatment only inhibits them, they instead prefer to divert their limited resources to address their son's aspirations. Also, a hearing and speech impaired girl is in greater danger of remaining unemployed, unmarried or being ill-treated at her in-law's place, he adds.
Cochlear Implant Surgery will empower a hearing-impaired girl child, help her evolve into a respectable citizen, besides enabling her to achieve her dreams and ambitions. She will be able to live life on her own terms, says Dr Rambabu, ENT Surgeon, Apollo Health City & Director Medical Services, SAHI.
About Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired (SAHI)
In November of 2004, a group of ENT surgeons, audiologists, and hospital management personnel, united with concerned citizens, to form SAHI. It is an Indian NGO that aims at helping underprivileged children with impaired hearing. SAHI mainly seeks to identify and aid children living in rural areas, with little or no access to modern medical treatment.
Since its establishment, SAHI has been addressing this problem by means of conducting camps in remote areas of the state. Children with learning disabilities or hearing loss are given hearing aids by SAHI and those with ear diseases are given free ear surgeries.
About Apollo Hospitals
It was in 1983, that Dr.Prathap Reddy made a pioneering endeavour by launching India's first corporate hospital - Apollo Hospital in Chennai. Now, as Asia largest and most trusted healthcare group, its presence includes 8,488 beds across 51 Hospitals, 1,586 Pharmacies, 92 Primary Care and Diagnostic Clinics, 100 Telemedicine units across 10 countries. Health Insurance services, Global Projects Consultancy, 15 colleges of Nursing and Hospital Management and a Research Foundation with a focus on global Clinical Trials, epidemiological studies, stem cell & genetic research and the first Proton Therapy Centre across Asia, Africa and Australia.
In a rare honour, the Government of India issued a commemorative stamp in recognition of Apollo's contribution, the first for a healthcare organization. Apollo Hospitals Chairman, Dr.Prathap C Reddy, was conferred with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2010. For more than 28 years, the Apollo Hospitals Group has continuously excelled and maintained leadership in medical innovation, world-class clinical services and cutting-edge technology. Our hospitals are consistently ranked amongst the best hospitals globally for advanced medical services and research.