Cochlear implants (CI) are proven to change the lives of those who are severely and profoundly deaf and to be cost-effective. CI are surgically implanted devices that provide useful hearing to those who receive little benefit from hearing aids.

you lose self esteem, you don’t want to mix, anything like that because that’s what deafness does to you

However, there’s a massive gap between those who could potentially benefit from CIs and those who have them: only 5-10% of those in high income countries with severe to profound deafness have a CI, in spite of the benefits to individual and society being well proven. In low income countries access is even lower.

There’s also immense variation in the vital support provided after implantation, which reduces the benefit and cost-effectiveness.

My cochlear implant has allowed me to return to a life that I thought was all but over.

Adult CI User

Deafness and hearing loss, whether in childhood or adulthood, are challenging global health and social issues. In childhood they are linked to delayed language and educational achievements, and in adulthood to isolation, depression, additional physical challenges, unemployment and increased risk of dementia.

According to WHO, 466 million people in the world have hearing loss and the global cost of unaddressed hearing loss is US$750 billion. In spite of this, the impact of hearing loss is often unrecognised and therefore unaddressed.