The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, underscored the importance of collaborative efforts to raise awareness in communities about hearing disorders and hearing loss. Mandaviya was addressing the 10th anniversary of World Hearing Day celebrations at Dr Ambedkar International Center in the presence of Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, here today. The theme for this year’s World Hearing Day is “To Hear for Life, Listen Carefully”
He said that “With Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan, everyone can effectively contribute to enriching the existing knowledge within communities regarding the benefits of early identification and prompt treatment of hearing disorders”. When left undetected and untreated, hearing conditions can turn into disabilities, negatively impacting the productivity and quality of life of many people. The Union Health Minister acknowledged the crucial role of ASHAs and MNAs, doctors, NGOs and nurses in raising awareness in this regard. He urged them to further educate communities and parents of young children for early detection and identification of hearing impaired. He also warned everyone that “we should not self-medicate, but consult doctors and take proper precautions before taking any medication related to hearing problems.”
He also said that in the modern era of technological growth, almost all causes of hearing loss, including exposure to loud sounds, can be prevented and treated. Using technology can be a game-changer to achieve this, he added. He underscored the government’s commitment to health care for seniors. The Union Minister underlined: “The elderly and children are given priority for the treatment of hearing loss. The government is committed to the well-being of all, especially the elderly. He also informed that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare already has a program dedicated to solving the various health problems of the elderly called “National Elderly Health Care Programme”. (NPHCE).
The Union Minister has virtually inaugurated the Newborn Hearing Screening facilities for the hearing impaired at AIIMS and 11 Outreach Service Center (OSC), All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysore. He has also published a book of hearing and screening guidelines for children and the elderly as well as the last two years’ screening report for newborns, school children and adults. While issuing the guidelines, the Union Health Minister pointed out that more than one million infants a year in India are diagnosed with hearing problems. He added: “It shows that this is an emerging challenge. These guidelines would benefit various age groups and therefore need to be promoted. With the launch of the newborn hearing screening facility, AIIMS, New Delhi and eleven (11) AIISH CSOs, Mysore, capacity for screening, early identification and prevention will increase tremendously.” Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, said World Hearing Day reminds us of our responsibilities to the hearing impaired. She underlined the importance for pregnant women and mothers to be aware of this problem and to take treatment as soon as possible for their children with hearing loss.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India’s first program related to hearing problems – the National Program for the Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPCCD), launched in 2006 under the NHM , is based on three pillars: 1. Awareness of prevention, early identification and treatment of hearing. troubles
2. Training of professionals at all levels including ASHA officers, ANMs, GDMOs and ENT surgeons etc. 3. Strengthening the delivery of services related to testing, treatment and rehabilitation.
It should be noted that the entire event was translated live into sign language by Deepali, a student from the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center (ISLRTC). It was widely appreciated by ministers, dignitaries and participants. (ANI)
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