A medical delegation from Qatar arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday to carry out cochlear implant operations on 14 Palestinian children with hearing impairments. According to the Director of Hamad Hospital for Artificial Limbs in Gaza, Dr Raafat Lubbad, the Qatari team includes specialists from Hamad Medical Institution in Qatar.
In addition to carrying out the operations, Lubbad explained, the visiting doctors will train their Palestinian counterparts in the cochlear implant procedure. He pointed out that Palestinian doctors had received training during previous visits by specialists from Qatar. Palestinian Consultant Mohammed Murad, for example, has started to carry out such operations and training others qualitatively.
Dr Lubbad said that all of the children having cochlear implants are under six years old, and the devices themselves were brought from outside Palestine.
Since the start of these procedures two years ago, 166 out of 2,000 with hearing impairments have had implants, all of which have been successful.
The cochlear implant programme is sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Health and paid for by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in cooperation with other Qatari NGOs.