Only about 1,500 medical professionals are available throughout the country to manage over six million children with hearing impairedness in India , President of Madras ENT Rearch Foundation Charitable Trust Mohan Kameshwaran said here today.
Most of these professionals were concentrated in major cities, which made treatment and rehabilitation largely inaccessible, he said at a press conference prior to the inauguration of the MERF Institute of Speech and Hearing.
"Of the six million, one million children suffer from profound deafness, coupled with language deprivation, as a serious congenital problem and need to be rehabilitated and integrated into the society, " he said.
There were just over 23 institutes in the country, which trained medical professionals fit to be clinicians and supporting staff for speech and hearing disorders in children, of which only one was in Tamil Nadu, Kameshwaran said.
Moreover, there was an exodus of those graduating from these institutes, creating a vaccuum in the country, he noted.
MERF has signed MoUs with Rehabilitation Council of India and the Tamil Nadu Open University to train those who have completed plus two in Audiology and Speech Pathology till the Phd level, he said.