Hearing screening program for school going children in India: necessity, justification, and suggested approaches

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Hearing screening program for school going children in India: necessity, justification, and suggested approaches


JournalThe Egyptian Journal of Otolaryngology
Article typeJournal research article – Clinical research
Publication date – Nov – 2021
Authors – Mohammad Shamim Ansari
KeywordsEarly detection and intervention, Hearing impairment, Hearing screening, School-going children
Open access – Yes
SpecialityENT surgery
World region Southern Asia
Country: India
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on November 29, 2021 at 7:40 am
Abstract:

Background
It is estimated that about 15% of students have transient hearing loss worldwide sufficient enough to interfere with communication, psychosocial relationship, and learning resulting in poor educational achievement and poverty. However, these conditions are reversible through timely detection and effective interventions. India is home to the largest number of school age children with hearing impairment, and majority of them remain undetected and untreated due to the absence of any dedicated hearing screening program. Therefore, this paper attempts to convince all stakeholders for planning and implementing early detection and intervention program for children with hearing impairment in school settings.

Methods
Recent literature estimates that children between the ages 0 and 14 years contribute 25.9% of the total Indian population. As per the global estimates of the prevalence of hearing impairment, India houses the largest number of school age children with hearing impairment. Many of them either remain out of school or perform poorly in school curriculum.

Results
The children in educational programs are readily and easily available for applying hearing screening procedures to detect hearing impairment and instituting audiological and educational remedial measures. But unfortunately, India has not yet envisaged any dedicated early detection and intervention program for school-going children consequently majority of children with hearing impairment undetected and untreated in the classroom.

Conclusion
Hearing impairment is a serious health concern among school age children which can adversely impact on communication, educational achievement, and vocational options. However, screening approaches for early identification in school age children across the world which are simple, effective, and cost-efficient can be considered for countries like India to reverse the ill effects of hearing impairment.

Potential implication
The paper may heighten the awareness among school personnel, educational administrators, and policymakers to consider planning and implementation of early detection and intervention program for children with hearing impairment in school settings.

OSI Number – 21370

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