Thursday, 04 August, 2016, Bangalore: Recognizing the need to drive awareness for neonatal hearing screening, Himalaya BabyCare in partnership with noted ENT specialist Dr. Sheelu Srinivas conducted screening tests for 100 underprivileged children in Makali, Bangalore. Himalaya BabyCare along with NGO SHABD aims to address the urgent need for neonatal screenings in India by raising awareness for the same.
One in 1000 babies are born with significant hearing impairment in India every year and unfortunately in the absence of awareness and timely medical guidance, most of them grow up with hearing disability. Himalaya BabyCare recognizes that early screening and intervention can help to address progressive hearing loss. Timely screening gives babies a better chance to develop language, speech, and communication skills. Infants with hearing loss who are not identified before 6 months of age have delays in speech and language development, while early intervention can help a child with impaired hearing to develop normal speech and language.
Working closely with Anganwadi workers at Makali, Himalaya BabyCare aims to bring change in infant care and development. Unlike other disabilities, loss of hearing tends to go unnoticed until later stages of a child’s development. Children with hearing loss often face social and emotional challenges, and feel isolated, without friends, and report below average grades in school.
Dr. Sheelu Srinivas, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Dr. Sheelu’s ENT Center, who supervised the hearing screening camp said, “At the time of birth it is critical to get hearing tested in maternity homes and follow the 0-3-6 months rule for neonatal screening. Zero is the screening which should be performed at the time of birth, three is definitive test and sixth month is the amplification test to decide the next course of therapy. If hearing loss is detected in the child, at an early stage, timely intervention helps to promote language and cognitive development.”
Mr. N.V Chakravathi, General Manager, Himalaya BabyCare, said, “Kerala and Goa are the two states that have implemented universal newborn hearing screening programs, and it is essential that it is made mandatory across states in India. Early detection and treatment are crucial in preventing this second most common cause of disability, and to mitigate its social and developmental impact. Through this initiative, Himalaya BabyCare hopes to increase awareness on neonatal health, provide early treatment and enable a happy and healthy childhood”.