Screening for impaired kids
Amaravati: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday directed the officials to make Andhra Pradesh free from deaf and mute children by initiating a massive screening program to identify the defects at early stages and conduct surgeries along with treatment procedures.
Taking part in a review meeting on Cochlear implants and deaf-free Andhra Pradesh, the Chief Minister said that a special program for cochlear implants should be developed similar to that of YSR Kanti Velugu and conduct surgeries by detecting at the early stage. He asserted that the government's goal is to help people with disabilities and support them by offering ideal treatment. In this context, the officials discussed the preventive measures taken by countries like the US, Britain, Australia in rectifying deaf and mute disorders.
The Chief Minister said that those identified in the screening should have a holistic approach in performing full-scale operations and treatment procedures and advised to conduct screening for newborns, infants, and school children. Those who are found to have hearing and speech defects should undergo surgeries similar to that of YSR Kanti Velugu.
The officials discussed integrating the deaf and dumb screening with the vaccination program and conducting phonological tests for school students as well to detect hearing loss in advance and treat it appropriately. The Chief Minister emphasized performing operations with MRI Compatibility and equips PHCs and 104 MMUs with suitable equipment for conducting the screenings. In regard to this, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to prepare a comprehensive plan for the screening program for early detection and told them to certify those children if there were no defects after the tests were done.
He said that all the government hospitals in the State should be equipped to conduct cochlear implant surgeries including every teaching hospital. He directed the officials to take up awareness campaigns and educate the public on these procedures. The Chief Minister told the officials to resume eye surgeries under YSR Kanti Velugu, which were halted due to the Covid pandemic.
Principal Secretary of Health Anil Kumar Singhal, Commissioner of Health Katamaneni Bhaskar, Nilam Sawhney Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister, Dr. Mallikharjuna, CEO Arogyasri, Dr. EC Vinay Kumar, Secretary, Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired (SAHI), and other senior officials were present at the review meeting.