Ear & Hearing Care Day stresses spreading better awareness
Kohima, March 3
Nagaland today joined the world in observing International Ear & Hearing Care Day under the theme “Make Listening Safe” with the main function being held at Paramedical Training Institute here under the aegis of Health & Family (HFW) Welfare Department.
Addressing the gathering, Commissioner & Secretary HFW Sentiyanger Imchen, IAS called upon the officials of the department to come out with strategic plan and road map for implementation of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) throughout the state.He said that the Government of India has given broads based guidelines for the implementation of the programme but it has to reformulated in line with local aspects.
Expressing concern that millions of people round the world are becoming deaf because of the use of personal gadgets and other noise pollution, he stressed on the need to educate the people better on the preventive aspect, instead of simply working on the curative aspect.
For this, he called upon the ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Specialists available in the state to conduct awareness campaigns while also maintaining that hearing aids should not be provided to BPL and old-aged persons on priority basis.
Making a power-point presentation on the highlights of the observation, ENT Specialist NHAK and State Coordinator of NPPCD, Dr. Kedozoto Pienyü said that millions of teenagers and young adults are at risk of developing hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devises such as smart phones and mp3 players and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues including night clubs, discotheques, bars, pubs and sporting events.
The emerging pattern of listening regularly at high volume and for long duration poses a serious threat to one’s hearing, he said, adding that hearing is a precious faculty which impacts educational, professional and social development.
The theme of the day, he said, encourages individuals, parents, teachers, physicians, managers, manufacturers and government to ‘Make Listening Safe’ and reminds all that once hearing is lost, it won’t come back!
On the preventive aspects, he said that half of all cases of hearing loss can be prevented through primary prevention such a immunizing children against childhood diseases, including measles, meningitis, rubella and mumps. Immunizing adolescent girls and women of reproductive age against rubella before pregnancy, screening for and treating syphilis and other infection in pregnant women, improving antenatal & prenatal care including promotion of safe children would also prevent hearing loss, besides avoiding the use of ototoxic drugs.
Maintaining that the day aims to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world, he concluded stressing on the need for implementation of national plans for ear and hearing care, building partnership to provide affordable hearing aids, address major premature cause of hearing loss, raising awareness and collecting data on deafness and hearing loss to demonstrate the source and impact of the problem.
Exhorting the gathering, Mission Director National Health Mission, Dr. Nandira Changkija called upon that one should not use any articles into the ear as it would lead to deafening, but to indulge in healthy ear care practices.
Also, in his speech Additional Director School Education P. Tep suggested that the two departments should work collectively towards proper implementation of the school health programme while also asserting to support any programme taken up by the department for the welfare of school students in the future. Principal Director HFW Dr. G. Kemp also spoke on the occasion.
31 students from Merhülietsa and New Market Schools were also provided with free screening on hearing problems as a mark of the observation.