June 18th was a big day for all of us at VAANI, as we set up ‘SOHUM’ device at Tumkur District Hospital Karnataka. ‘SOHUM’ is a non-invasive Early Screening device for testing hearing loss in newborn babies. Early screening helps in taking appropriate remedial measures and increases the probability of including our hearing-impaired children into mainstream life.
A very important area which is missing in the Indian scenario is the Early identification & screening of hearing loss in newborns. This increases the difficulty of language development and comprehension, as the three critical early years are lost where the brain is most flexible of grasping anything and everything around it. Moreover due to lack of stimulus during these three crucial years, leads to delayed reflexes from the child and has a negative impact on other developments.
Therefore, Early screening needs to be followed with a technical referral programme aiming at conducting a BERA test confirming the hearing loss and fitting a child with the hearing aid to enable the child to use their Residual Hearing and develop their listening skills.