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Gandhi Hospital chosen for national institute

M. Sai Gopal
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Union Health Ministry to set up All-India Institute of Speech and Hearing at the hospital

A file photo of patients undergoing diagnosis at a speech therapy centre.
A file photo of patients undergoing diagnosis at a speech therapy centre.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has zeroed-in on Gandhi Hospital to set up an All-India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), a centre that would provide all types of facilities to the hearing impaired. The MoHFW is looking to invest nearly Rs.2 crore to acquire medical equipment and other infrastructure required for the specialised centre.

The AIISH at Gandhi Hospital will have special focus on extending clinical services to neo-natal (newly-born) babies, a facility that is not present anywhere else in the government sector in the State. According to authorities, officials of the ministry and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad have accepted the proposal in-principle to set up the centre at the hospital.

“We believe that children with hearing problems should be given clinical assistance from neo-natal stage. Quick treatment would make the child independent. The centre will have specialists to deal with the hearing impaired,” said Gandhi Hospital Superintendent M. Chandra Sekhar. The MoHFW has also sanctioned key posts like audiologists, speech therapists, pathologists, ear mould technicians, teaching faculty and other personnel required for AIISH.

“This will be the first institute dedicated to speech and hearing impaired in the State. It is being planned to have close to 30 such institutions all over India,” Dr. Chandra Sekhar said.

The AIISH would be developed on the lines of the prestigious autonomous AIISH in Mysore, which was established in 1965. In addition to the clinical services, other objectives of the AIISH would be to provide professional training, research and education on issues related to communicati-on disorders such as hearing impairment, voice, fluency, phonological and language disorders.

After a few years, the institute could also offer certificate courses, diploma and UG programmes on hearing ear mould technology, heari-ng language etc, officials said.

“At this moment, we are in the process of identifying the location for a facility. The MoHFW has requested for a space of 600 sq.ft. to begin the facility and we will identify the same in few days,” said Dr. Chandra Sekhar.


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