BENGALURU: Former Australian Cricketer Brett Lee is in the city for ‘Sounds of Cricket’, an awareness campaign on hearing loss.
The 31-year-old world-renowned bowler will draw attention to the functional, social, emotional and economic impact of hearing loss on individuals and their families.
Lee’s son suffered from hearing loss because of a head injury. “Even though he recovered in a couple of months, at that point of time I was so disturbed,” he confided.
This incident got him to associate with the campaign as it could help millions who suffer from hearing loss.
“I want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to experience what I hear — the sounds of everyday life or cricket, or the voices of loved ones,” Lee added.
He wants to spread the messages of how cochlear implants can help individuals with hearing loss lead a normal life. “Parents and other family members should not ignore the smallest of signs. They should take speedy action,” he cautioned. “I have seen how an implant takes a person from silence to sound. It is life- changing.”
According to the World Health Organisation, hearing loss is the most widespread sensory deficit across the globe. Delay in identification and treatment can affect quality of life in terms of language acquisition, social and emotional development, and education and employment. Around 5 per cent of the world’s population suffers from disabling hearing loss.
Dr Shankar Madikeri, senior ENT surgeon at Madikeri Super Specialty ENT Centre, said, “There is definitely an urgent need for universal new-born screening in India. This can help identify hearing loss at birth.”
Lee is the global brand ambassador of Cochlear, an international firm that deals with implantable hearing solutions. He had unveiled the Indian leg of Sound of Cricket in Mumbai last year. Lee will interact with Christ University students on Tuesday. He will also participate in a cricket match on the campus, played by children with hearing disability.