BENGALURU: Brett Lee, former Australian cricketer and Global Hearing Ambassador with Cochlear, a hearing implants company, was in Bengaluru on Monday to create awareness about the importance of newborn screening to detect hearing defects early on in life.
At an event organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness at Vikas Soudha, he spoke about how his son had suffered an accident at the age of five and lost his hearing in one ear, but which was restored later.
The accident led the former cricketer to spearhead a global campaign on educating parents not to neglect signs of hearing loss in their children. He stressed how a cochlear implant can change their lives and transport them from silence to sound. As per the 2011 census of Karnataka, 1,939 children in the age group of 0-6 years are hearing impaired. Most of them have been affected since birth.
Dr Mohammed Asheel, Executive Director, Kerala Social Security Mission, spoke about the cochlear implant scheme in the state.
Currently, newborn screening for hearing is being done in all district hospitals but needs to be extended to all taluk hospitals. Every Tuesday ‘Shravan Divas’ is being observed where special screening camps are being held across the state.
Around 80 children have been operated under the Cochlear Implant Scheme in the state from last year. The beneficiary children and their parents also shared their experience.