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Make hearing test for newborns compulsory: Brett Lee

Mysuru, September 8:- “According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 34 million children are suffering from hearing disabilities. Four out of 1,000 children in India have severe hearing disabilities. Hearing tests should be compulsorily done for all the newborns,” opined former Aussie cricketer, Cochlear Global Hearing ambassador Brett Lee at a press meet held at a private hotel here on Friday.

“According to the reports of WHO, 5% of the world’s population has hearing problems. Among them, 34 million are children. If this situation continues, there will be 900 million children with hearing problems by 2050. According to the 2011 census, 2.35 lakh people have severe hearing problems,” he said.

“Technology is helping us to solve hearing problems. The aim of Cochlear is to help people who have hearing problems. Everyone should be able to listen and enjoy life. Parents should not neglect hearing problems of children. I have seen how an implant takes one person from silence to sound. Around 66 government maternity hospitals in Kerala provide hearing tests for children. Kerala social security mission has developed a software that collects all the statistics regarding hearing problems of children. It will help in treating the hearing problems,” he added.

“Lack of Information and idea regarding hearing problems and its treatment is causing an increase in hearing problems in India. Earlier, when children were identified with hearing disabilities, they had to communicate with signs. But now testing hearing abilities of newborn helps in treating them. This should be done one month to 12 months after the childbirth. Cochlear implantation during this period helps in solving the problem,” said Dr H A Dattatri, neck surgery and consultant ENT chief of Columbia Asia hospital. (MR/HN).

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