Mysore: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Friday announced the setting up of five new national-level institutions along the lines of the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH).
"A committee would soon be formed to decide on the location of the new centres. A parallel endeavour would be to set up speech and audiology departments in all medical colleges of the country that desire to have them," Harsh Vardhan said, addressing the faculty and students of AIISH here.
He said prevention of communication disabilities and rehabilitation of patients form a major thrust area of his vision of a healthy India.
The minister also visited the 90-year-old Mysore Medical College Hospital where he launched the "Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan" by symbolically sweeping the grounds of the hospital and removing litter with his hand.
Harsh Vardhan, who wrote to the Delhi administration Thursday on the need to observe a "silent Diwali" free of noisy crackers, reiterated the need for a nationwide implementation of the Supreme Court order banning firecrackers in residential areas.
"Diwali is the festival of lights and should not be polluted by noise. One person's merry making should not be the cause of another's trauma," he said.
He instructed the faculty of AIISH to issue a statement alerting the nation on the harmful effects of noise pollution.
"I see a lot of children with neuro developmental disorders being treated here. A lot of hearing disorder cases can easily be prevented through a well-honed and practical prevention strategy which should be developed by the experienced specialists of AIISH," he added.