With the objective of continuing to promote the inclusion of children with hearing deficits, the Office of the First Lady, presided over by Raquel Arbaje, in collaboration with the National Health Service (SNS), announced this Tuesday the second day of the cochlear implant program.
In its first phase, this project, which has been implemented since December 2022, benefited 15 low-income children who received treatment and therapies.
“Today we are taking a new step towards providing the greatest possible number of children with hearing loss the opportunity to hear and, therefore, to develop the ability to speak and, in the future, to join the classroom on an equal footing with the rest of their classmates. This effort is the most cherished by all those who, by joining forces, have made available to socially vulnerable children what otherwise would have been impossible for them,” said the First Lady.
The National Health Service (SNS), under the direction of Dr. Mario Lama, as a public health service provider, is the operational arm of the cochlear implant program, which seeks to reduce school dropout rates and facilitate language development at an early age.
Dr. Mario Lama reiterated the commitment of the SNS to contribute with actions in favor of the health of infants and the most vulnerable. He emphasized that “this program contributes to the well-being of these children and their families, so we will continue working so that more children can benefit from this type of action”.
In this second phase, more than 60 children will benefit, thanks to contributions from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), with the delivery of US$1,000,000 in non-refundable funds, US$135,000 from the Banco Popular Dominicano and US$450,000 from the Office of the First Lady, with the support of the Ministry of Health. These funds will enable the acquisition of a total of 64 cochlear devices.
Hostos Rizik, Executive Director of the Dominican Republic at CABEI, said, “We are pleased to support initiatives that have a direct impact on the social development of the country and the well-being of its people, especially our new generations. Today, together, we are sowing a future full of hope and opportunities for our children.
The procedures will be carried out at the Hugo Mendoza Pediatric Hospital and the program will have a multidisciplinary team made up of otorhinolaryngologists, speech therapists and social workers.
The announcement of this second day was made during a ceremony at the Convention Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with representatives of the Ministry of Health; members of the Health Cabinet; the director of the SNS, Mario Lama; Hostos Rizik, executive director of BCIE; Blanca Conigliaro, coordinator of Development of Health Interventions of the SNS and Dhamelisse Then, director of the Hugo Mendoza Hospital.