BERA facilities to be introduced in Indian government hospitals


newborn hearing screeing in Kerala state
©Paul Ripke

The Kerala state government is to set up facilities for neonatal hearing screening in 66 hospitals across the state, according to the Health Minister, K.R. Shylaja.

The Minister made the announcement after inaugurating the renovated center for audiology and speech pathology of the ENT Department at Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital, reports the Times of India. The government plans to introduce brain stem-evoked response audiometry (BERA) facilities at selected government hospitals that have more than 50 childbirths per month.

“The Government plans to introduce a BERA facility to detect hearing loss in newborns within three months of birth. The government is planning to provide hearing aids to children within six months and to conduct cochlear implant within 18 months. With the early detection and distribution of hearing aids, the children born with hearing loss will be able to lead a normal life when they reach the age of three,” the Minister said, adding that similar centers would soon be opened in the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital.

Kozhikode hospital now has a renovated center for audiology and speech pathology over 4,000 square feet, with six advanced audiology rooms, consultation rooms, hearing aid test laboratories, a hearing aid programming room, a mapping room, and an ear mold and voice laboratory. A total of 22 patients can be treated at a time.

Source:The Times of India