Profiling the National Cochlear Implant Recipients for Prelingual, Hearing-Impaired Children in Malaysia

Yuzaida Md. Yusoff, Cila Umat, Siti Zamratol-Mai Sarah Mukari


The Ministry of Health (MoH) commenced the National Cochlear Implant (CI) Program in 2008. As of November 2014, the program has implanted 205 individuals with hearing losses, many of whom are pediatric recipients (71%) with prelingual deafness. This study aimed to profile the prelingually deafened pediatric cochlear implant recipients under the MoH CI program. The data reported here were from a total of 121 recipients (82.8%) from all the nine satellite hospitals in the program. There were 58 males and the majority of the cases were Malay (66.9%). From the cases reviewed 39 (32.2%) were high risk for permanent hearing loss and the majority (46%) had multiple risk factors. In this cohort, only 12 children (9.9%) were identified through the newborn hearing screening (NHS) program. The age of diagnosis of hearing loss ranged from 1 to 46 months with a mean age of 24.3 ± 10.2 months. Hearing aids were fitted at the age of 4 to 46 months with a mean of 27.5 ± 9.9 months. The average age of implantation was 41.5 ± 10.3 months. The mean overall waiting period from the first visit to the audiologist to the time when the cochlear implant was activated was 18.5 ± 9.1 months. Descriptive findings indicate that the children received their implants at a relatively late age for speech and language development. The existing national NHS program needs to be tighten and strengthen so that it can be the main feeder for the pediatric CI program under the MoH. Subsequently, it is hoped that early identification of hearing loss will lead to earlier age of implantation among the pediatric patients in the future.




Cochlear implant, prelingual hearing-impaired children, age of diagnosis, age of implantation

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