Mobile Screening Project
AURED started the Mobile Screening Project in 2012 for early detection and intervention of hearing disabilities in underprivileged children from slums, creches for labourers, balwadis, construction sites, etc. in and around Mumbai. It is extremely important to detect these problems as early as possible, to enable immediate intervention, in order to prevent further damage like permanent hearing loss.
Over the years AURED’s focus has become double–fold. Besides detecting hearing loss, these camps cater to prevention of hearing loss through diagnosis of ear infection and impacted wax which could ultimately lead to permanent damage. More than 2000 children are screened annually.
A sound-treated, air-conditioned van (to eliminate external noises while testing) which is fitted with the appropriate equipment is used to screen these children for hearing loss. This mobility enables the team to cover distances which would otherwise be very difficult. Remote areas are often selected for mobile screening as these areas lack access to government health facilities. The team consists of a coordinator, a technician, an audiologist (when required) and a driver.
The screening is done free of cost. Along with audiological testing, an awareness to noise pollution is also created, how hearing loss occurs due to it, and how it can be prevented. Caretakers, children and parents are the beneficiaries of this programme. 4600 children have been screened in the past 2 years and 50% of them have had to be referred for further management.
Due to the current pandemic situation in the country, this project has been put on hold as these camps are held in over-crowded and unhygienic areas. Once the conditions improve it will be restarted.