Fluoride Action Network

Deafness more common among rural kids — Survey

Source: The Indian Express | November 17th, 2001
Location: India

PANCHKULA, Nov 16: According to a current survey, 7 per cent of the district’s population is deaf. A figure less than the national figure of 90-95 million by only 2.7 per cent. The survey was conducted in Raipur Rani by a team of PGI doctors led by Dr S.B.S. Mann, head of the ENT department, PGI, Chandigarh.

Giving the information on the eve of the National Day of the Deaf, Dr Vijay Garg, ENT surgeon at the local General Hospital, said according to the survey, deafness is 3-4 times more common in rural than the urban children. This, he said, was due to the greater incidence of the middle ear disease, leading to deafness, among the rural kids. He said its incidence is 2-3 times more in the developing countries than the developed nations.

Garg said the survey also revealed that the disease was more common in areas with a high fluoride content in water. However, in South India, the efforts of the administration have helped bring down the figure by 17 per cent in school-going children. The main causes of deafness in children are prenatal and can be attributed to both genetic and non-genetic factors.

Prematurity, haemolytic disease and birth trauma could be cited as another set of causes. He said deafness could be checked through screening tests, family history, prevention of miscarriage, and other tests. The cure, however, involves the use of drugs and surgical methods, he said. Meanwhile, a cultural programme and a free check-up camp will be organised at the General Hospital here tomorrow.