Bengaluru, March 2 (IANS) As many as 115 children have been operated upon under the cochlear implant scheme of the Karnataka government this year, State Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K. Sudhakar stated here on Thursday.
Ear and hearing care has been given priority through such measures, he added.
World Hearing Day is celebrated on 3rd March every year and this year the theme is “Ear and hearing care for all, let’s make it a reality”.
“All health workers are being trained in ear care, first aid and screening. Through this, ear care and hearing care are being merged into primary health care services. A cochlear implant scheme has been introduced to address severe hearing loss in children under 6 years of age.
Under this initiative, 115 children have been operated this year and the remaining 577 beneficiaries are at various states of preparation for cochlear surgery,” the minister informed.
According to the World Health Organization, 430 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss.
By 2050, this number is expected to cross 700 million. The National Hearing Loss Control and Prevention Program was implemented in the state in 2008-09 and training for instrumentation and surgery is being imparted in all districts, he said.
During the last five years, 2,00,305 hearing impaired and 35,418 severely hearing impaired have been identified through NPPCD program. 2,381 children under 5 years have severe hearing loss. 10,213 surgeries for ear problems were done with the help of all ENT specialists in the state. Minister said that 11,857 beneficiaries have been given hearing aids, he explained.
On this World Hearing Day, hearing screening camp will be conducted in all districts and treatment will be provided. In children under 6 years of age, those who are suffering from severe hearing defect will be identified and cochlear implant surgery will be performed if required. The minister explained that arrangements will be made to provide hearing aids through the Department of Empowerment of differently-abled and other organisations.
Anyone who cannot hear sounds below 20 dl is likely to have hearing loss. Hearing loss can occur at any age for a variety of reasons.
Genetics, loud noise, infection, chronic diseases (TB, cancer), infections in pregnant women (TORCH), due to long-term medications, consanguineous marriages, problems during delivery, premature birth, growth not according to age, due to loud blows, putting a stick, pencil or any other object in the ear and so on, minister Sudhakar stated.
Regular hearing test, hearing test for newborns, hearing test for pregnant women, reducing the continuous exposure of adults to loud noise, hearing pads for ears where there is a lot of noise [factory], not marrying in blood relations, identifying and treating ear problems at the primary stage, taking any medication only on doctor’s advice, regular hearing test during prolonged treatment period, he said.