eHEALTH BureauHonourable Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare, Environment, Protocol and additional charge of Sports & Youth Welfare, Shri Suresh H. Shetty launched the National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) in Maharashtra on 6th September 2010. In his inaugural speech, Honourable Minister said that Government of India has made a positive step by initiating National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD). The problems caused by deafness in the community cannot be ignored. In fact there are over 25,000 children born deaf every year, whereas 75% of the problem is solved if deafness can be prevented. Treatment of deafness is expensive in terms of diagnosis, fitment of hearing aids and cochlear implant. However it is important to start the program by reaching out to villages of 8 districts of Maharashtra. Gradually all the other districts of Maharashtra can be covered. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary for Public Health and Family Welfare, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Jayant Bantia, said that, he would include National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) in the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) Training Program in the coming year. He requested the medical fraternity from the eight districts selected for the National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) to be role models for other districts in the state of Maharashtra and closely monitor the performance to improve the condition of non-communicable diseases.Dr Ramesh Chandra Sagar, Mission Director of National Rural Health Mission, in his introductory speech, said that in the current financial year INR 2.67 crores has been alloted for implementing the same in Maharashtra. Primary Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, District Hospitals and Medical Colleges in the state of Maharashtra would be equipped to initiate National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD). Audiologists and Speech Pathologists would be appointed on contract basis in the district hospitals to provide secondary and tertiary care for the identified deaf in the community. A series of training programs for the medical professionals and health workers, involved in the program would be organised in this month with the help of AYJNIHH.