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The first of its kind

Cochlear Implantation

The first cochlear implants in Ethiopia were performed in December 2016 and May 2017. These were Med El implants and the support from that particular company – focusing on training and programming – has been tremendous. The first patient, Afomiya Daniel is seen here grimacing through her first dressing change by her father, Daniel Taye and the resident Bizuayehu Girma (photo 12.3.1). She can now converse with her family and of course responds to environmental sounds (Photo 12.3.2). Mr. Teketel Alemayehu (photos 12.3.3) also converses freely with his family – seen here with is daughter Ms. Yemiserach Teketel (12.2.4) and is very happy he had the implantation. Interestingly, candidates who want their hearing restored become reluctant when they learn that an operation is involved. Mr. Teketel, when he encounters other men his age wavering will corner them at the office and he tells them, “You should do it. You should do it. Don’t wait. You can start hearing again.” His daughter, Ms. Yemiserach Teketel has been so impressed by the changes in her father, that she has signed on with the first wave of audiometry trainees in Ethiopia – to receive the Certificate of Completion for Ethiopian Audiometry.

Sites of expansion of cochlear implantation are Myungsung Christian Medical Center in Addis Ababa, and Mekelle University, 400 miles north of Addis Ababa.

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