Treating ear infection through community health workers

New Delhi, Aug 19 : With over 70 percent of the Indian population suffering from hearing impairment, a programme was launched Monday to detect and treat ear infections through the community health workers.

The programme "Shruti", launched by Medtronic with Dr.Shroff's Charity Eye care hospital, engages community health workers and was started as a pilot project in Delhi.

"Within the next six to nine months we plan to get to as many people as possible, covering the entire north India," said Jacob N. Paul of Medtronics.

"In India, around 77 percent of the population have been suffering from hearing impairment and lack of ear, nose, throat (ENT) specialists... such measures are required to detect and treat hearing loss," said Nishi Gupta, head of ENT department at the Shroff hospital.

The health workers are provided with Shruti diagnosis kit which helps in screening and diagnosing the disease and then transmitting the images of the patient's ear to the surgeon.

"There is a huge unmet need especially among children in Southeat Asia and Africa where a lack of awareness about the seriousness of the inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media)and access to care results in delayed diagnosis and treatment," said Mark Fletcher, senior vice president, Medtronic Surgical Technologies.

--IANS (Posted on 19-08-2013)

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