Gauteng Health restores hearing to 240 patients

Zweli Duma lost his hearing more than three years ago. Picture: Supplied

Zweli Duma lost his hearing more than three years ago. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 27, 2023


The Gauteng Department of Health has revealed that it has helped more than 240 hearing-impaired patients through its cochlear implant programme.

According to Gauteng Health Department spokesperson Motalatale Modiba, these sophisticated surgeries are only performed at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital under the care of their speech and audiology departments.

One of the beneficiaries of the programme is Zweli Duma, who lost his hearing more than three years ago.

Modiba revealed that Duma, who lost his job following his ordeal, has received a second chance to hear the voice of his loved ones and has also benefited by being employed by the hospital at one of its audiology departments.

In a video statement detailing his journey, Duma revealed that he spent three years unable to hear the voice of his child after his hearing suddenly stopped.

Duma said his ordeal began three years ago when he suddenly was unable to hear anything. He said he tried to seek medical help but nothing was able to restore his hearing after years of medication and being put on hearing aids.

He said he visited Dr Bertha Gxowa Hospital and despite being prescribed hearing aids by the hospital’s Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic, he was still unable to hear.

He says a year later, he was referred to Chris Hani Baragwanath, where things began to improve.

“When I met Dr Schlesinger and his team I still could not believe that I would hear again, considering that two hearing aids had not helped. However, I decided to put my faith in the doctors with the hope that one day I would regain my hearing. They informed me that the government has allocated for the cochlear implant programme, so I could begin the process again,” Duma said.

According to Modiba, Duma underwent surgery in 2015 and 2016.

“He underwent surgery in December 2015 and early 2016. Duma expressed that he was overwhelmed with joy. Although his brain initially struggled to process the newfound sounds, he was ecstatic to finally hear his son’s voice. This implant changed his life, enabling him to call his family in KwaZulu-Natal and enjoy his favourite music, just as he had before,” Modiba said.

Duma said: “This cochlear implant opened many doors that were previously were closed to me. I lost my job due to my hearing loss, but now I have a job that I love. I now have an opportunity to make a positive impact on people facing similar situations. I want to continue this journey in everyone that I meet.”

The Star

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