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Health Ministry’s national programme offers hope for hearing impaired

D.N.I.S. News Network The Health Ministry has finally decided to address the menace of deafness, a physical ailment that affects one out of every 12 Indians. The Ministry is launching its first national programme for prevention and control of this disability.

With nearly 6.3 per cent of the population suffering from progressive and acute hearing loss, the year-long pilot phase of this programme will kick off soon in 25 districts across 12 states. Under the programme, the Ministry aims to train one E.N.T. surgeon, audiologist, and two doctors in a private and public hospital of each district. In addition, an E.N.T. department will be started in every district hospital falling under the pilot phase. Over 40 doctors from primary district health centres will also be taught to identify, treat and refer patients with signs of progressive deafness.

According to experts, 50 per cent of the deafness cases can be prevented. Rehabilitation Council of India will implement the pilot phase which aims to train over one lakh healthcare personnel from the district to grassroots level about prevention, early identification and rehabilitation of all types of ear diseases leading to deafness.