Family Cosmos Forum organised a Guest Lecture on 10th February 2020, on Community Based Research on Prevalence and Etiology of Hearing Impairment in Bangalore Urban and Rural District, Karnataka. Dr. Margaret Lavina Fernandes, Research Scientist, St. John’s Research Institute, Bangalore was the Resource person for the session.

Dr. Juliet C.J. Principal, School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya welcomed our alumnus, Dr.Margaret Lavina Fernandes, Ms.Ashwathi of II MSW introduced Dr. Fernandes.

She mentioned that Dr. Fernandes has been in the field of academics and she has quite a number of years of experience teaching Social Work, Social work practice and research in the area of children in need of Care and Protection, Community based Rehabilitation of Children with hearing Impairment and expertise in qualitative research.


Dr. Margaret Lavina Fernandes began her session by expressing her gratitude to the Institute and shared her good old memories and experiences. Being alumnus of School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya, Dr. Fernandes further mentioned that Roshni takes care of everyone and it is a wonderful institution. She shared her experience of conducting research on hearing impairment and explained about the various steps that should be followed to conduct the study. She said that, it was funded by the Central Government. Initially through administrative support they were able to cover urban, rural, and tribal population for the study. At the end she questioned the audience on the prevalence rate of hearing impairment in India.

Then she briefly explained about human resource available and infrastructure that was provided to them by the government for a period of five years, including a team of nine members, Equipment’s, Sound Proof Van, and Respondents. She also explained the process of data collection. It includes identifying and meeting the family, explaining the information sheet for patients, taking the permission, consent and assent, data verification, data cleaning, online data entry and submission.

Dr. Fernandes further highlighted the challenges they faced when conducting the study, to mention a few staff turnover, adjustment to community, long term commitment of staff, delay in yearly budget release etc. She also shared about the contributions and outcome of the survey such as service to the community, awareness on hearing disability, best service at the door step, innovation of sound proof van, employment opportunities, and resources for home based therapy by mothers, app for data collection and so on.

As this study was successful, the government requested them to conduct another project, on pre- primary and primary school based study on prevalence and etiology of hearing impairment and exploration of belief and perception of school children about hearing impairment- A mixed method study.

At the end she also gave awareness on how to protect our ears and as social workers how we can help people by creating awareness about it.

There were a few queries by the audience that were more practical and inspiring. The Resource Person concluded her lecture by saying “our ears are precious and they should be taken care off. Therefore it is necessary to do the testing at early stage of life. So that every child can grow happily in this beautiful world.”

Mr.sayanth, student of 1stMSW hosted the session. Ms Liyana M. Joseph, Faculty Department of MSW delivered the vote of thanks.

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