Bhubaneswar: AIIMS Bhubaneswar was one of the six new ‘Outreach Service Centres For Communication Disorders’ inaugurated virtually by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday. They were opened by the India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru on the occasion of World Hearing Day.
The other five centres are Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Science, Patna, Bihar; Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, Bidar, Karnataka; Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences, Belagavi, Karnataka; Karnataka Institute of Medical Science, Hubli, Karnataka and Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Kolar, Karnataka.
The minister congratulated AIISH for launching six new ‘Outreach Service Centres for Communication Disorders’ across the country. “ The number of individuals existing with such disorders and the lack of professionals and specialists to cater the need for this population warrants the need for initiation of Outreach Service Centers in the hospitals across the country.” He added, “We should aim to reach out to the underserved and unserved areas in the country to cater to the needs of individuals with communication disorders. This will enable early identification and diagnosis of communication disorder and early intervention, thereby preventing further deficits in speech, language and cognition and facilitating the overall development of the child,” he said.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “This is a very important day for me personally. Good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life. Timely action is needed to prevent and address hearing loss across the life course. I have seen and understood people with communication disorders from my medical days. Communication disorder not only affects the individual but can have far-reaching effects on the entire family. When these uncommon, unrecognised disabilities go undiagnosed and unmanaged, they can have a significant detrimental effect on the overall development. It becomes very important to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.”
Emphasising the need for early identification and early intervention to control and manage communication disorders, the Union Minister said, “Hearing impairment can lead to poor speech and language development in children. This can in turn affect their overall development of communication. However, if these are identified early and early intervention is initiated, it will reduce the negative consequences of the disorder.”