Israeli Doctors Help Deaf Palestine Kids Hear For The First Time

16 Palestine children can now hear thanks to a handful of Israeli doctors and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

Credit: ReSurge International, CC

To promote positive relations between citizens of Israel and Palestine, the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation has been coordinating surgeries between residents of both nations for approximately the past year. Since the program launched, sixteen Palestinian children have gained the sense of hearing thanks to cochlear implants inserted by Israeli doctors.

All surgeries have taken place at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, and six occurred back-to-back in a “marathon style” of operations last month. Not only is the collaboration encouraging individuals from both nations to cultivate empathy, it’s changing peoples’ lives, as the fairly simple procedure is rarely accessible in developing countries.

Dr. Michael Kaufmann, the project’s leading surgeon, told YNet News:

“This is an amazing project that gives these children the opportunity to step out of their world of silence and live their lives normally and fully.”

“These children couldn’t speak prior to the surgery, they were bereft of any supporting environment, uncommunicative. The surgery opened up their world, the ability to communicate and spread their wings… We are happy to have been able to contribute to such a dramatic change in their lives,” she added.

The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia and is but one part to a lengthy process. After one month, the first fitting with the external piece of technology takes place. This step is done by a speech therapist and is followed by months of rehabilitation. Many healthcare professionals are necessary for the process to be considered a success long-term.

Despite some logistical challenges, all involved in the project have persevered. Now, over a dozen formerly deaf children can hear, and that’s something to celebrate. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

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