World hearing day

2018-02-28 06:02

WORLD Hearing Day is held on March 3 each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

The theme for 2018 is “Hear the Future”.

The way that humans perceive their world is mediated through sensory experience. Of all the senses, it is hearing which fundamentally facilitates communication and fosters social interaction, allowing people to forge relationships, participate in daily activities, be alerted to danger and experience life events – in all of its splendour.

Around five percent of the world’s population, 360 million people (World Health Organisation, 2016) live with hearing loss, with nearly 32 million being children.

The vast majority of these children live in the world’s low-income and middle-income countries. In South Africa, approximately 6 116 babies a year (17 babies every day) are born with a hearing loss.

Owing to the absence of infant screening programmes in South Africa, hearing loss often goes undetected.

The consequences of and costs associated with undetected hearing loss are pervasive and far-reaching, especially when it comes to language development.

• Acknowledge the expected rise in the prevalence of hearing loss globally over the coming years (based on statistical projections);

• Put in place efforts that are required to stem the rise through appropriate preventive action e.g. new born screening programmes in all hospitals in South Africa;

• Ensure that all people with hearing loss, including children, have access to the required hearing technology, rehabilitation services and communication tools and products that they require.

The Carel du Toit Trust is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation established in 1988, which works to realise our vision of a world where children who are deaf have universal access to early identification, appropriate hearing technology, audiological support, therapeutic services and ultimately functional spoken language.

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