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July 17, 2007

Hope for hearing impaired people in India

Far too many Indians suffer from hearing problems without receiving proper treatment. The Union Health Ministry of India has launched a national project focusing on hearing loss. The aim is to promote prevention and treatment.

At least one Indian in 12 suffers from hearing loss. The problem is receiving considerable political attention. The Health Ministry launched its project to focus on prevention, early diagnosis and, not least, treatment of ear infections and other diseases causing hearing loss.

The campaign was introduced at the end of January, 2007, in 25 districts in 12 Indian states.

As part of the project, the aim is to have one ear-, nose- and throat specialist, one audiologist and two additional medical doctors associated with each public and private hospital in the 25 districts. Each hospital will open an ear-, nose- and throat department.

Timely detection important

According to experts, 50 percent of the cases of hearing loss can be prevented through early intervention. One aim of the project is to provide early detection of hearing loss and reduce the current 6.3 percent prevalence in the Indian population of progressive or acute hearing loss.

The most common types of hearing loss in India include perforated eardrum and age related hearing loss (presbyacusis).

Source: The Times of India Online, 23.01.2007

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