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Posted at: May 29, 2018, 1:08 AM; last updated: May 29, 2018, 1:08 AM (IST)

Brett Lee at hearing screening programme launch in city

Expects govt to help kids with hearing impairment

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 28

Brett Lee, former Australian cricketer and Cochlear’s Global Hearing Ambassador, was in the city to create awareness about the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) programme at Sri Guru Ram Das (SGRD) University of Health Sciences here on Monday.

One of the world’s fastest bowlers, Lee was here to draw attention to the challenges faced by people with profound hearing loss, which affects 466 million people globally. He interacted with patients.

Dr SP Dubey, Director and Cochlear Implant Surgeon, Divya Advanced ENT Clinic, Bhopal, and Dr AP Singh, Dean, SGRD University, while talking about the problem in Punjab, said the state had more than 1.46 lakh people suffering from hearing impairment.

Dr Dubey also conducted two cochlear implant surgeries on infants at the SGRD on Sunday evening. Dr AP Singh said that as the implants and surgery were very costly (around Rs 10 lakh), the institute had written to the Central Government for assistance for children from poor families.

Dr Dubey said that 13 states in the country were already providing assistance to children needing cochlear implants.

Brett Lee, while talking to the media, said, “No cost could be higher than the happiness of a child.” He revealed that his son’s hearing was temporarily impaired at the age of four after an accidental fall. “I was a worried parent and was looking on the internet. When I learned about it, it was a natural progression for me to help. I hope that the government will start a programme to help children with hearing impairment,” he said. “No one in this world deserves to live in silence. People should know that hearing loss is treatable,” he said.

Dr SP Dubey said, “The Newborn Hearing Screening can help address hearing loss related issues early, because without hearing, a child cannot develop speech or language. He said that the UNHS recognises indications of hearing disability, and early discovery makes early treatment possible.

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