In October 2009, Dr Desai went to Japan as a tourist for 9 days. This is the first time he did not wear a suit & tie and did not have any lecture commitments. He did cancer research in Japan 50 years ago, but much has now changed including high cost of living. He visited Tokyo and vicinity, Mt. Fuji, Odawala, Nara & Kyoto. The best part was the excellent tour guide who made the tour enjoyable and informative.
In the year 2008, 14 local Rotary clubs of Goa and the host club of Dr Desai, Newport- Balboa RC, obtained a matching grant from Rotary International to conduct a unique project in the State of GOA. Several clubs of District 5320 also cooperated in the project. The Project was on the EARLY DETECTION OF NEWBORN HEARING LOSS AND INTERVENTION (EHDI). Interventions can include hearing aids, surgery, etc. There were only two Audiologists to evaluate 30,000 newborn births per year in Goa. A chance meeting of Dr Desai and four Rotarian Audiologists from Weymouth, Massachusetts who desired to visit India to do humanitarian work for two weeks, led to Dr Desai arranging for them to go to Goa. They were all lucky to obtain a travel grant from the Rotary International. The local Goa Rotarians provided a free home and chauffeured car These Rotarian Audiologists, in turn, trained 100+ healthcare workers on how to screen newborns for hearing loss. The Goa EHDI PROJECT is an ongoing success.
One goal of Project Deaf India was introducing EHDI to all of India. This was made a reality after Dr Desai met the ex-President of India in 2008 and requested that he introduce EHDI throughout INDIA, which has the highest incidence of deafness on the globe. His request was granted and presently India is working hard to train the needed number of ENT doctors and Audiologists to make this possible. The actual national EHDI program will begin in 2010.
Another goal of Project Deaf India achieved this year was to include comprehensive Measles and Rubella vaccination in the national Vaccination Plan of India. Thanks to International agencies such as UNICEF, WHO and the CDC, along with Government of India the vaccination plan was started in all of INDIA this year. When the Nation is vaccinated, the incidence of DEAFNESS WILL BE DRASTICALLY REDUCED.