Pindrop Foundation News

Government announces additional investment for cochlear implant programmes

Today is International Cochlear Implant Day and we have something to celebrate.

There was welcome news this morning, with the government announcing an extra $6 million dollar investment for the cochlear implant programmes this year, in addition to an ongoing commitment to increase the number of cochlear implants from 80 to 160 over their parliamentary term. 

The announcement was published on the Beehive website this morning, with the Minister of Health, Andrew Little stating, "The money will make for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year...and will have an immediate effect by reducing the historical adult waitlist.

“Labour made a manifesto commitment to double the number of cochlear implants each year from 80 to 160 during this parliamentary term and that commitment remains,” Little said.

To read the statement in full, click here

Professor Graeme Clark

Kiwi cochlear implant users are sending a heartfelt message to the Australian pioneer of the multi-channel cochlear implant, Professor Graeme Clark on the launch of his memoir today, 'I want to fix ears.'

Over the course of the past 30 years, Kiwis affected by a disabling hearing loss have had access to their hearing restored thanks to the innovative genius of Professor Graeme Clark, who faced obstacles, ridicule and opposition from the medical community when he set out to develop the multi-channel cochlear implant.

Over 30 cochlear implant recipients from across New Zealand have shared some of their most precious, and sometimes entertaining, life-changing moments since receiving their cochlear implants. Watch the video to Professor Clark below and check out our website for all the individual messages here.
ENT surgeon, Bill Baber was part of the first cochlear implant surgery in New Zealand over 30 years ago and says “The best thing I’ve ever done in my life is cochlear implant surgery. It’s restoring people’s self-respect, it’s restoring their confidence, their ability to work as well as hugely improving communication with family and friends. This may have a long-term effect on the prevention of Alzheimer’s and senility. It’s amazing! 
"Professor Clark made all this possible through his dogged determination to give the gift of hearing to those living with a severe hearing disability. To watch these amazing tribute videos in recognition of his life’s work, and to have played a part in changing the lives of deaf New Zealanders has been the highlight of my life’s work as a surgeon too.” 

'I want to fix ears'

by Professor Graeme Clark
Professor's Clark's memoir, 'I want to fix ears' charts the course of his career; from the personal inspiration of his father’s experience with hearing loss to medical ridicule, and ultimately developing the multi-channel cochlear implant over 40 years ago. You can buy this phenomenal story of fortitude and determination from Amazon, here:

A new global CI community hub launches

Forty years on from the development of the multi-channel cochlear implant, over 1,800 Kiwis who have been affected by a disabling hearing loss have received one. Yet, only 1 in 20 adults who might benefit from this life-changing technology is accessing it. CIICA was established to bring together the global CI community in a united voice to bridge the knowledge, awareness and access gap to cochlear implant technology for those individuals. Their website is scheduled to launch today (25th February, UK time). To read more about the initiative and join in the conversation, please visit their website.