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Foundation sponsors cochlear implants

A foundation that helps deaf people from poor families to get artificial cochleae was established today by the Shanghai Welfare Foundation for the Disabled and the Shanghai Eye, Ear and Nose Hospital.

Currently, the Shanghai Disabled Persons' Federation offers a subsidy between 70,000 yuan (US$11,290) to 90,000 yuan to help each deaf child in Shanghai to receive the cochlear implant. However, the fund doesn't cover adults who became deaf due to accidents or diseases.

The new foundation will offer subsidies to both children and adults in China.

"Thanks to technology development in China, domestically-made cochleae have been available since last year," said Dr Li Huawei from the Shanghai Eye, Ear and Nose Hospital. "Its price is much lower than imported ones."

There are 120 million people with hearing disability in China, including 27.8 million with severe hearing problems. About 8 million Chinese children need cochlear implants.


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