Dr. Margaret Lavita Fernandez, Social scientist, St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore Department of Medical and Psychiatric Social Work organised a guest lecture on 10th February 2020, on the "Role of a Psychiatric Social Worker in dealing with Persons with hearing Impairment” Dr. Margaret Lavita Fernandez, Social scientist and researcher, St. John’s Medical College and Hospital, was the Resource Person for the session.

Dr. Juliet C.J. Principal, School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya welcomed the Alumni, Dr.Margaret. Ms.Ashwathi of II MSW introduced Dr. Margaret Laveena.

She shared her experience of conducting research on hearing impairment and explained the steps taken to conduct the study.She said that the fund was given by the central government to conduct the study. Initially they took administrative support and covered 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 the components such as human resource and infrastructure provided to them by the government for a period of five years. It included a team of nine members, Equipments, Sound Proof Van, and Respondents. She also described the process of data collection. It includes identifying and meeting the family, explaining the patients the information sheet, taking the permission, consent and assent, data verification, data cleaning, online data entry and submission.

While conducting the study, she said, they faced a lot of challenges such as staff turnover, adjustment to community, long term commitment, delay in yearly budget release. 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 gave one more project, that is 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 could 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, First year MSW hosted the session. Ms Liyana, Faculty of MSW delivered the Vote of Thanks.

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