One among 1000 children in India born with hearing impairment

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Kolkata, Jul 11 (UNI) At least ten per cent of the world's population and one among every 1,000 new-born infants in India have hearing deficiencies, thus testifying the widespread prevalence of this physical disability, renowned ENT specialist Dr Santanu Banerjee said.

Speaking at the inauguration of a Hearing and Speech Therapy Centre at the B P Poddar Hospital here yesterday, Dr Banerjee said, ''Unlike other forms of physical disability, hearing impairment is not manifested externally as it is not visible. Nonetheless, it affects a huge portion of the population and requires as much attention and care as other disabilities. '' However, people with hearing deficiencies often did not get the proper treatment or care they deserve and were neglected compared to other physically challenged persons, mainly because of lack of awareness among the people and the apathetic attitude of the society as a whole.

''In the early days, hearing aid technology involved vacuum tubes and large heavy batteries, while nowadays microchips, computerisation and digitised sound processing technologies are used for the hearing aid designing. With the advancement of technology, communication need assessments and assistive listening device evaluation and dispensing have also been invented, '' Dr Banerjee said.

Medical Superintendent at the B P Poddar Hospital Dr M D Manna said, ''The B P Poddar Hospital has tied up with the Danish company Widex to inaugurate a state-of-the-art Senso Hearing Centre. The clinic will offer facilities like Puretone Audiometry and Tympanogram, which will be used to detect the amount of hearing deficiency and mid-air pressure of any patient.'' He also informed that Widex was planning a full-fledged tie-up with Cochlear, which will be of further help in the case of patients with 100 per cent hearing loss.

'' The clinic will guide the patients for Cochlear implantations and also do the training and programming after the operation, which is a vital part of the entire process, '' he added.

Former Indian wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani inaugurated the Senso Hearing Centre.

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