Newborns to be screened for hearing defects at KEM Hospital

An event was organised at the audiology unit at Mumbai’s civic-run hospital. This event was held to celebrate the upgradation of machines at the audiology unit in the ENT department. It was inaugurated by the hands of renowned personality and Bollywood star Boman Irani

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In the past, when parents found that their child was not responding to them, they would rush them to the hospital to know the cause. But now with the upgradation of the machines, KEM Hospital will provide screening to newborn children. This will help in early diagnosis of deaf and mute children.

The LCIF Grant Project, Lions Club of Byculla, and Lions Club of Queensway donated four machines to the audiology unit. The inauguration of these machines was done by Boman Irani. In all, an audiometer, tympanometer, pure tone audiometer, and a Brainsteam Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) machine were provided to the audiology unit.

Boman Irani, well-renowned celebrity and actor attended the event. In his address, he stated, “I cannot even imagine living a life in silence. Not hearing my favourite music or the birds chirp or the patter of the rain or the laugh of a baby. What is amazing that a small test at birth can help detect if a child suffers from any form of hearing loss and then immediate action can be taken. I urge all parents, general physicians and each one of you to help us spread awareness by encouraging the hearing screening test for babies. All of us can make a difference and we can help change the lives of our future generations.”

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Bollywood actor, Boman Irani, said, “Hearing and speech loss is a serious problem, but people don’t pay enough attention to it and end up delaying its treatment. It’s an important health issue. When a newborn child is screened, the diagnosis can be done early and treatment can be started on time.”

He added, “Hearing loss is a life-changing issue. It is essential to work for the healthcare of people with hearing and speech loss.”

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While Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean of KEM Hospital, said, “There are around 40 to 50 children born in KEM Hospital each day. These newborn children will be screened and tested through the audiology unit and we will find ways to prevent hearing and speech loss.”

Speaking at the event, Dr Hetal Marfatia, HOD, ENT said, “Our programme started way back in 2007 with 3 cases and then the next couple of years we did 10 cases. Last year we did about 70 cases. Our patients come from the smallest parts of the state and country, most of them belonging to the non-affording strata. We strive to give them the best technology that can completely transform their lives.”

Speaking about the importance of early detection, Dr Hetal Marfatia, Head of ENT department at KEM Hospital, said, “It is necessary for each newborn child to undergo an auditory test. If a mother finds that her baby is not responding to her, then the parents must immediately consult a doctor. If they are screened on time, then hearing loss can be prevented.”

Through these new machines, hearing and speech problems can be detected. The reasons for the defects will also be found out. This all will be done in one place.