Forum helps parents, candidates understand auditory implants care

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE Auditory Implant Forum 2019, organised by the Otorhinolaryngology (ORL) Department, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital was held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar was the guest of honour.

According to a press release from the organisers, the majority of candidates identified through the cochlear implant and bone anchored implant programmes are children.

In ensuring the sustainability of these programmes, the ORL Department recognised the importance of counselling, the need to allay parental fears and reservations about the surgery involved and the surgical implants in particular.

It was shared that the success of the programme on the whole is highly dependent on the commitment of patients and their family as the rehabilitation process after surgery is vital in ensuring its outcome.

Head of the ORL Department at RIPAS Hospital Dr Fakhruddin Salim speaks. – DANIAL NORJIDI

It is well recognised that rehabilitation is a long process, particularly in children.

The forum aimed to provide a meaningful platform for parents and potential candidates to obtain first-hand information from the multidisciplinary team professionals involved in the treatment, care, rehabilitation and support of these patients.

It was also an opportunity for parents of children and patients with cochlear implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) implants to share and relate their experience and success stories.

The objectives of the forum include: to introduce cochlear and BAHA implant programmes provided by the ORL Department at RIPAS Hospital to the public; to share an overview of diagnostic to habilitation services for individuals with hearing impairment given by professionals from the multidisciplinary team in hearing impairment; product introduction to address what parents/family and patients want to know about the hearing implants; to share success stories of patients who have been implanted with cochlear and BAHA implants; to share information on the care and support required after implants; to address any concerns about auditory implants in an interactive, informative and safe environment; and to provide better understanding of auditory implants as treatment options for suitable candidates.

The forum began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, followed by a welcoming address by Head of the ORL Department at RIPAS Hospital Dr Fakhruddin Salim, and a speech by the Minister of Health.

The proceedings also saw a brief overview presentation on Hearing Implants, presented by ENT Consultant Nayan Parekh, followed by an interactive session, entitled ‘Share With Us’, with parents and patients who attended the event.

Other topics at the forum by local speakers from the ORL Department were ‘Newborn Hearing Screening – Detecting hearing loss earlier’ by audiologist Nurrul Akmar Halem; ‘Your Child and Hearing Aids’ by audiologist Arni Kartini binti Haji Bakar; ‘Developing your child’s brain for communication’ by speech and language therapist Meela Adreeyana Haji Aliuddin; and ‘Alternative Communications’ by teacher of hearing impaired Ong Siok Yan.

About 200 participants attended the forum, including healthcare professionals (paediatricians, primary health doctors), the Special Education Unit of Ministry of Education, the Community Development Department (JAPEM) of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and non-government organisations such as National Association for the Hearing Impaired (OKP) linked to hearing impairment.