Society for Assistance to Hearing Impaired Children (SAHIC)
Hospital and University Affiliation
Society for Assistance to Hearing impaired Children (SAHIC)
Dr. M Nurul Amin
SHORT HISTORY of SAHIC and ITS PROJECTS:
Society for Assistance to Hearing Impaired Children (SAHIC) was established as a Non-Governmental philanthropic organization after being registered with the appropriate Government authorities in the year 1989.
The Society began organizing mobile rural ear camps with specialist doctors and technical staffs in the remotest areas of the country to create awareness of the effects of hearing loss among the general population. Emphasis was placed on early diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment, prevention and education about diseases that may cause hearing impairment.
The National Centre for Hearing & Speech for Children (NCHSC) at Mohakhali, Dhaka started functioning from 25th February 1992 in its own building with following service facilities:
Out-Patient department with an Out-Patient Operation Theatre to perform day care surgeries with 3 ENT Specialists.
Hearing testing laboratory to perform the following tests with four audiometricians and one hearing aid technician. Testing offered included:
- Behaviour Observation test
- Caloric Test
- Tinnitus Masking
- Tinnitus Matching
- Tone Decay
- Speech Audiometry
- Aided Audiometry
- Brain Stem Evoke Response Audiometry (BERA/ABR)
- Impedance Audiometry / Tympanometry
- Free Field Audiometry
- Pure Tone Audiometry
- Play Audiometry
Ear Mold laboratory to prepare ear mould and to fit hearing aids with one Ear Mold Technician and one Junior Ear Mould Technician.
The staffs of the hearing testing and ear mold laboratories were trained locally and in the neighboring countries of the region.
In 1994 an Integrated Pre-School for Hearing Impaired Children was established to provide language therapy to hearing impaired children along with normal hearing children in the oral auditory method. The age of the children enrolled was 3-6 years and the capacity of the school was 160 students in the proportion of four hearing impaired children:one normal hearing child. The preschool staff included a principal, three teachers, six assistant teachers and ten class assistants. The teaching staffs were trained at home and in the neighboring countries in the region.
In 1995 a Sub-Centre at Chittagong, a port city about 350 K.M. away from Dhaka, was established in a rented house with the facilities of Out-Patient Department and a Pre-school for the hearing impaired children. Subsequently, in 1999 the Sub-Centre has been shifted in its own building with more spaces and facilities. The number of staffs to start with 1 Medical Officer for the OPD, 1 Teacher and 1 Assistant Teacher for the Integrated Pre-School, Hearing Test Laboratory to assess hearing loss with 1 audiometrician, and ear mold laboratory with 01 Ear Mold Technician, but has gradually increased to 3 Part Time ENT Consultant. The capacity of the school has increased from 30 to 60 children. A Speech Therapy Department with 1 Speech Therapist started functioning since 2003.
The National Centre for Hearing and Speech at Dhaka has expanded manifolds with increased number of patients in the OPD and testing laboratory. The number of Medical Officer and Specialist has increased from original 3 to 14 doctors. In the hearing test laboratory includes a technical supervisor, three audiometrician, four-Junior Audiometrician and in the Ear Mold lab now one Ear Mold Technician and two Junior Ear Mold Technician are working at present.
In 1999 a Specialized ENT Hospital was established on top of the Centre building to cater the need of patients requiring surgical treatment to prevent, preserve and restore hearing of the patients. During last five years 12 cochlear implant operation were performed besides along with many microsurgeries of the ear. Through the initiative of the Centre, specialists from U.K., USA and Canada makes short term visits (2-4 weeks) to give consultations and to perform operations on the patients, and to perform various hearing tests, along with other audiological and speech therapy assistance.
A Speech Therapy Department with locally and regionally trained Speech Therapist started functioning and at present one Speech therapist and two Junior Speech Therapist working in the Department.
A Total communication school for profoundly hearing impaired children between the ages of 7-12 has been established and started functioning since 2002 at a hired house in Mirpur, Dhaka, about 10 K.M. away from the main Centre.