Estimated at over five percent of the population, Egypt today is home to 4.5 million who suffer from hearing loss. These figures are prone to growth seeing as an average of 130,000 Egyptian newborns are annually greeted to a mute world. However, up to 5,200 children can get a chance at hearing if they are treated before the age of five.
In partnership with Cairo Runners, in addition to Etijah for Youth Development and Consultancy, Esma3ny (Arabic for ‘Hear Me’) has organized a run on Friday November 6 to raise awareness about hearing loss in Egypt and provide aid to those in need of it.
In addition to the run, MED-EL, a producing company of implantable hearing solutions, vowed to donate EGP 1 for every picture showing a sign that reads #إسمعنى uploaded to Instagram, using the same hashtag.
Throughout six months, the Esma3ny Facebook community has grown to over 179,000 , during which time the initiative has focused on raising awareness on hearing loss and providing aid to Egypt’s children whose hope in hearing lies in obtaining cochlear ear implants (CI).
According to statistics gathered by Esma3ny, only 1,500 newborns out of the 5,200 who are annually born deaf and bear potential to hear through CI undergo proper treatment, leaving behind 3,700 children who remain deaf their entire lives due to lack of access to treatment.
Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that act in place of the damaged sensory hair cells in the cochleas, providing the profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing with a sense of sound.
Among the main reasons why most newborns never receive CI within the first five years is the high cost of the surgery and its various preceding and follow-up requirements. One year of treatment including the surgery, preoperative medical examinations, hospital charges and other expenses wavers between EGP 120,000 – 140,000. Further rehabilitation expenses can reach up to EGP 12,000 for six months.
The beautiful Tara Emad contributing to the first and biggest awareness day on hearing loss 🙂 #اسمعني @taraemad with @repostapp. ・・・ *من داخل الكراڤان في اول يوم تصوير فيلم #تفاحة_حوا يوم الجمعة ٦ نوڤمبر ان هشترك في الجري لحملة #اسمعني لنشر الوعي عن الكشف المبكر للاطفال. استخدم #اسمعني في صورتك و اتبرع لصالح فاقدي السمع! اطفالنا في مصر بيعانوا من فقدان السمع و محتاجين نوعي المجتمع. لكل حديثي الولادة, لازم يتعمل اختبار السمع عشان نعالج اي مشكلة في اسرع وقت و نقدر ننقذ اكبر عدد من الاطفال من فقدان السمع. # اسمعني ميديل هتتبرع بجنيه لصالح علاج ضعف السمع لكل هاشتاج #اسمعني A photo posted by Esma3ny – اسمعني (@esma3nyegypt) on
Making it through a mute world without sounds has many grave impacts which start at the lack of ability to speak. During a child’s early years, sounds form the primary source of language acquisition, speech and cognitive skills.
Further repercussions down the road clearly take form when it comes to chances of employment. 43 percent of individuals with limited communication options are unemployed, while those who are employed are expected to earn 55 to 60 percent less than their fully abled counterparts.
If you want to help Esma3ny raise awareness about hearing loss, you can join them and Cairo Runners for a refreshing four-kilometer morning jog, or you can upload your #إسمعنى token of support to your Instagram account.