China, Australia Cooperate on Therapy for Deaf

Scientists of China and Australia have achieved success in helping more than 200 Chinese deaf children regain their hearing after they received implantations of artificial cochleas.

The multichannel device, the first of its kind in the world developed by professor Graeme Clark of Australia, is able to act as a real cochlea, the part of the inner ear containing the nerve endings essential for hearing.

On Thursday afternoon, 19 child beneficiaries of the device came to the Australian Embassy in China to give a performance, in which they sang and danced.

One of them was Fu Xinhui, aged four, who was found to be deaf only eight months after birth. She received an artificial cochlea implantation operation in 1998 and now she can talk with other people normally. During the performance, she recited a poem so elegantly that no one would believe that she has difficulty in hearing.

Sources said that last year over 28,000 deaf people, including 15,000 children, in the world have tried the artificial cochlea developed by Australian scientists.

So far, 12 well-known hospitals in China such as Beijing Tongren Hospital and General Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army have carried out similar artificial cochlea implantation operations.

(Xinhua 02/16/2001)

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