History of the Team
Cochlear implantation in South Africa commenced in November 1986.
In 1990 Professor Johannes G. Swart, former Head of the Ear-, Nose- & Throat Department of the University of Pretoria, established “The University of Pretoria Cochlear Implant Unit (UP-CIU)”.
The first two adults were implanted in 1991. In 1992 the first children were implanted.
Since then, patient numbers have been steadily increasing as technology and selection criteria changed over the years. UP-CIU is now called the PRETORIA COCHLEAR IMPLANT UNIT or PCIU.
The PCIU has performed more than 900 implants.
There are currently 12 different cochlear implant centres available in South Africa, of which the PCIU is the second largest. Approximately 3000 cochlear implants have been performed in South Africa up to the beginning of 2020.
The PCIU is an independent entity, with team members that are private health care providers, and with research ties to researchers at the University of Pretoria. Operations are performed at three private hospitals in Pretoria. Mapping and other audiological services are performed at the PCIU on location in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology of the University of Pretoria. The PCIU is involved in undergraduate student training as well as the postgraduate short course in Additional Training in Cochlear Implant MAPping and Rehabilitation, accredited by the HPCSA. Research studies are performed in collaboration with the University of Pretoria’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, and with Bioengineering at the University of Pretoria.
Cochlear implantation requires a unique combination of technology, skills and long-term support provided by a multi-disciplinary team. Our background in research and development within the field of cochlear implantation, and in the service partnership we foster with local services in supporting our patients, has built up a national and international reputation for excellence in cochlear implant service provision.
We aim to provide lifelong support for our patients, both present and future.