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Speech, hearing are common disorders in rural school children, finds study

Total 2960 children were screened from Shirwal, Umbraj, Kokarud and Pali ZP schools by a team of 20 doctors.

rural school children, rural school, rural children, MMF, Mukul Madhav Foundation, pune newsHEARING and speech disorders are the two most common health issues among rural school children in some parts of Western Maharashtra and Konkan area shows data emerging from the medical camps held by Mukul Madhav Foundation (MMF) in various villages between Pune and Ratnagiri as part of the five-day Cyclothon held in December last year.

Total 2960 children were screened from Shirwal, Umbraj, Kokarud and Pali ZP schools by a team of 20 doctors from hospitals of Pune, including KEM, H V Desai Eye Hospital and Bharati Vidyapeeth Hospital, along with Ram Dhillon, ENT surgeon from UK, and Rakesh Bakshi, Bicycle Angel’s founder as well as film maker and author of ‘The Director’s Diaries’ who donated eight bicycles to needy individuals in those areas.

According to the data compiled, health disorders were found in 1093 of the 2960 children examined. Out of these children, 689 had ENT problems and 288 children were suffering from speech, language and hearing disorders.

Ram Dhillon who screened the children said, “The common health issue in these school children are hearing and speech disorder. Many children were detected with fluid in the middle ear and many more with solid wax obstructing the ear canals during their screening. Sound doesn’t travel well through wax or fluid. Children with such problems may have hearing difficulties and hence their speech gets affected.”

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Dhillon added that for these kids, normal speech would sound like a whisper. “If not corrected in time, these problems can delay a young child’s speech development. Because they can’t hear very well, they are unable to imitate speech sounds. This not only has a negative effect on speech, but also is a major contributor for learning difficulties and can lead to social isolation,” he said.

According to managing trustee, MMF, Ritu Chhabria, “MMF is in the process of finding out whether local hospital facilities are available at Shirwal, Umbraj, Kokrud and Pali. We can then take a decision whether these cases can be locally referred or we will need to bring them to Pune for further treatment.”

First published on: 11-01-2016 at 01:05:50 am
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