The Health Ministry will be carrying out a hearing screening for the country’s entire population and provide hearing aids to those with partial hearing impairments. The initiative was launched with the World Hearing Day observed at Paro today. According to the Health Ministry, this is to eradicate avoidable deafness in the country.
The Ministry of Health hopes to complete screening the entire population for hearing impairments within the next four to six months.
For those with partial hearing difficulty, the ministry will provide digital hearing devices for free. And for those with major difficulty, cochlear implant surgeries were recently launched at the JDWNRH.
A cochlear implant is complex electronic device that stimulates nerves inside the ear and enhances hearing.
Dechen Wangmo, the health minister says starting next month, the health ministry will start line listing everybody in all districts. “So as per the plan we will complete the line listing within one month and after that screening will happen.Then see whether those who require surgical interventions or people who require assistive devices. If they require hearing aid we will provide it for free and do the fitting.”
Eight students from the Wangsel Institute for the deaf in Paro were provided with digital hearing aids today.
Tshokey Wangmo, a student at the Wangsel Institute for the Deaf lost her hearing when she was a youngster in 2013. “I lost my hearing completely. Previously when my teacher used to call my name I was not able to respond. However, now when the teacher explains something in spoken language I can learn from them.”
“I started using my old hearing aid in 2017. And today I got a new one. The previous analog hearing aid that I used, used to produce loud sounds, which are disturbing. But the new one that I got produces a clear sound,” said Chador Gyeltshen, another student at the institute.
The initiative is a part of the Health Ministry’s programme called Hear, Listen and Speak. Speech therapies will also be provided to the patients to enhance speech.