The Prime Minister of Uganda Dr Ruhakana Rugunda on Friday 3rd November 2017 launched the Med’El hearing in-plant programme to kick start earing surgery in Uganda. These implants (cochlear implants are to be carried out by Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre in partnership with Mulago hospital.
In his remarks at the event, the prime Minister welcomed the innovation, noting that there had been great hemorrhage of resources from this country sending patients to India, South Africa, UK for treatment. The resources that have been going away should now be utilized through services and patient care here.
“I thank MEDEL for their support to this initiative in Uganda, especially acknowledging the willingness to transfer knowledge and skills by training our Ugandan Surgeons, Speech Therapists, Radiologists and Audiologists in order to ensure success of this program. I also acknowledge the leadership and staff of Kampala Audiology and Speech Center, the local company at the vanguard of implementing MEDEL Hearing Implants Program in Uganda” he added.
Dr. Rugunda applauded the Government’s effort and support of the Private and Public Partnership policy, sighting that it is pivotal in the process of improving the standard of health service delivery and patient care in Uganda. He also pledged continued government support for initiatives such as the one by Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre and MEDEL and called upon other specialties and other areas of business to learn from their example.
“You have heard the Government, President Museveni and many of us talking about transforming Uganda into a middle-income country. In my view, this implant programme is a clear illustration that we are moving in the right direction to turn Uganda into a middle-income economy. More and more people are going to benefit from this program that is not only a matter of earning money but also looking at improving services for the people.” the Prime Minister said.
The Deputy Executive Director of Mulago Hospital, Dr. Birabwa Male in her speech said that this indeed was a very big landmark the history of ENT and indeed surgery in Uganda because for the first time ever, surgeries are being performed on a microscopic level. She also applauded MEDEL for the price reduction for the entire procedure because even though the procedure would ordinarily cost USD 60,000, today it is being done at USD 15,000 only.
The launch of the MED’EL hearing in-plant programme took place at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel and was attended by ENT surgeons, speech therapists (pathologists), radiologists, audiologists, medical and engineering professionals, ENT students and parents of children who received the first cochlear implants as a result of this partnership.
MED-EL is a global technology company that researches in the field of hearing loss and develops and manufactures implantable hearing systems. These include cochlear implants, middle ear implants, bone conduction hearing implants, electric acoustic stimulation hearing implant systems and auditory brainstem implants. The company is headquartered in Innsbruck, Austria and was founded in 1990. MED-EL is a private company and is managed by its co-owner Ingeborg Hochmair, who is an internationally acclaimed scientist and researcher. For more information visit http://kascentre.com