Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in humans today. As per WHO estimates in India, there are approximately 63 million people, who are suffering from Significant Auditory Impairment; this places the estimated prevalence at 6.3% in Indian population. As per NSSO survey, currently there are 291 persons per one lakh population who are suffering from severe to profound hearing loss (NSSO, 2001). Of these, a large percentage is children between the ages of 0 to 14 years. With such a large number of hearing impaired young Indians, it amounts to a severe loss of productivity, both physical and economic. An even larger percentage of our population suffers from milder degrees of hearing loss and unilateral (one sided) hearing loss.
Objectives of the programme
- To prevent the avoidable hearing loss on account of disease or injury.
- Early identification, diagnosis and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness.
- To medically rehabilitate persons of all age groups, suffering with deafness.
- To strengthen the existing inter-sectoral linkages for continuity of the rehabilitation programme, for persons with deafness.
- To develop institutional capacity for ear care services by providing support for equipment and material and training personnel.
Components of the Programme:
- Manpower Training & Development – For prevention, early identification and management of hearing impaired and deafness cases, training would be provided from medical college level specialists (ENT and Audiology) to grass root level workers.
- Capacity Building–for the district hospital, CHC and PHC in respect of ENT/Audiology infrastructure.
- Service Provision Including Rehabilitation – Screening camps for early detection of hearing impairment and deafness, management of hearing and speech impaired cases and rehabilitation (including provision of hearing aids ), at different levels of health care delivery system.
- Awareness Generation Through IEC Activities – for eardy identification of hearing impaired, especially children so that timely management of such c!ses is possible ajd to remove th% stigma attached to deafness.
- Monitoring and Evaluation
Primary Level (CHCs/PHCs/School Health)
- Primary Management of ear cases by Medical Officers at the level of CHCs/PHCs.
- Early Identification of cases of hearing impairment by RBSK doctors under school health.
- Otoscopes are placed at the level of CHCs/ PHCs/UHCs.
- ENT Surgeons on bond are available at selected Health Facilities
Secondary Level (District Hospitals)
- Medical Management of cases .
- Surgical procedures like Tympanoplasty, Mastoidectomy etc are being done at the level of the District Hospitals and Sub District Hospital Ponda.
- Pure Tone Audiometer are installed at both the District Hospitals and Sub District Hospital Ponda.
- Audiologist are posted at both the District Hospitals along with audiometric assistant in North District Hospital.
- OAE machines are installed at both the District Hospitals and Sub District Hospital Ponda.(Installed from June 2020)
- Impedance Audiometer installed at both the District Hospitals and Sub District Ponda.
- Instructors for hearing and speech impaired is posted in North Goa District Hospital.
- Patients requiring hearing aids are referred to District Rehabilitation Centre at Bambolim.