Infant Hearing Screening in India: Current Status and Way Forward

Suneela Garg, Ritesh Singh, Deeksha Khurana

Abstract


Loss or impairment of auditory sense is the most prevalent deficit of all the sensory organs. With virtually no mortality, hearing impairment causes huge impact on one’s social, educational and economic well-being. There are 5-6 infants who are hard of hearing out of 1000 neonates. They will not be identified till they attain 2 or more years of age, by then irreversible damage would have been done. Universal screening for hearing of new-borns is the only way to decrease the burden of deafness in our society. There are tools available which can be administered by health workers after initial training for screening the infants for hearing impairment. Under the aegis of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) of India universal screening can and should be applied. The programme would entail additional financial burden for the initial purchase of screening machines and rehabilitating the identified children.

Keywords: Deafness, hearing, impairment, India, new-born, universal screening


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