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I’m David Strachan I’m one of the ENT surgeons here at Bradford Royal Infirmary. I also work for the Yorkshire Auditory Implant Service. This is World Hearing Day today which is very relevant to us because part of World Hearing Day is raising awareness about the treatment of hearing loss and ear conditions and in Bradford we do cochlear implants for patients from the whole of Yorkshire and actually beyond and we are very fortunate to do it because it is a life changing intervention and I think lots of people don’t fully understand how disabling it is to be deaf and yet the cochlear implants that we do here allow people to communicate and change lives which is great. There are lots of other conditions that we treat here which are very relevant.
The other thing about World Hearing Day is it’s about raising awareness of prevention. In the UK we have various things such as protection at work if you work in a noisy place and vaccines which are well established and of course a bit of a topic with COVID at the moment. This is particularly relevant worldwide. We have been fortunate enough to have links with a department in Malawi and have done implants over there. It is interesting that quite a few of those patients had conditions that were preventable and would have been prevented in the UK by a vaccination programme such as mumps and measles. So it is very important for World Hearing Day that we not only concentrate on treating patients with ear conditions and hearing loss but that we think about how we can prevent it and also supporting worldwide programmes that can really make a big difference to not just thousands but millions of individuals that are deafened through avoidable conditions.