In 2005, China Ministry of Health, China Disabled Persons’ Federation, and GN ReSound·Asia together initiated Hearing the Future—5-year China National Hearing Care Prevention and Treatment Project. Hearing the Future conducts various projects in early prevention, detection, treatment, and rehabilitation to improve the hearing health care in China and reduce the socioeconomic burden of hearing impairment.

Under the auspices of HTF, China Advanced Hearing Advisory Board (CAHA) was founded in 2005. CAHA is composed of highest level of academic and government authorities in China’s hearing health care field and is becoming the absolute key opinion leader in China audiology development. The fifth CAHA meeting was developed as China Audiology Summit 2008. The objectives of this event were: linking hearing health care professionals in eastern and western between developed and developing countries; improving international communication and cooperation; building an open platform; increasing social awareness on hearing impairment; and promoting the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and rehabilitation technology.

China Audiology Summit (CAS) 2008 was conducted on November 16 to 18, 2008 in Shanghai, and is the highest-level conference in the hearing care field in to date in China. It was organized by Hearing the Future Project and Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Subcommission of Chinese Medical Association. The theme of this year’s summit was “China Audiology Development & Pediatric Audiology Technology.” The summit’s academy chairperson was Professor Han Demin, and the chairperson of the organizing committee was Dr Mei Feng Dingxiang. Attendees of this summit were 170 elites coming from China and overseas including government, hospitals/rehabilitation center, distributor channels, such as: Dr Young-An Ku from WHO, Xiang Qian from Ministry of Health of China, Prof Richard Tyler from University of Iowa of America , Prof René Dauman from University of Bordeaux of France, Prof Suchitra Prasansuk from Thailand, Prof Michael Tong from Hong Kong China, and Prof Hendarto Hendarmin from Indonesia.  

China Audiology Summit 2008 had a intensive program including: keynote speech, China audiology development forum, hearing aid service roundtable discussion, pediatric audiology diagnosis and evaluation seminar, pediatric audiology rehabilitation technology seminar, and newborn and infant early hearing detection and intervention roundtable discussion. The keynote speech highlighted the theme of the summit delivered by the Chairperson Han Demin, WHO officers, and other top university professors. The China audiology development forum discussed the key points of China’s hearing and rehabilitation field. The hearing aid service roundtable discussion focused on the issues of hearing aid and service guidelines and China hearing aid dispenser qualification/certificate training guidelines. The pediatric audiology rehabilitation technology seminar emphasized the difficulties of China audiology development and carried on a lively discussion. The infant early hearing detection and intervention roundtable discussion conducted the related issues and guidelines.

The summit set exhibition areas to demonstrate the hearing and rehabilitation field’s development from the past and present to the future: the Hearing Technology Development exhibition, the Hearing the Future-International Audiology & Training Center visit, and the Future Hearing World exhibition. The organizing committee also arranged the Hearing the Future Achievements exhibition to present the project’s achievements from 2006 to 2008. There was an activity named “Caring for children, longing for their bright future,” inviting all attendees to write down their best wishes for hearing-impaired children, which forwarded the cards the next day to six hearing-impaired children. All attendees participated in the activity or puzzle, which was the Hearing the Future logo.
All of the guests highly praised this summit’s high level and international standards. The summit also gained recognition from WHO officer Dr Ku, who expressed that CAS 2008 was a very successful event and he planned to report the outcomes of the summit to WHO and hoped the Hearing the Future can share the experience with other countries. Prof Demin commented that CAS 2008 was a milestone in China’s audiology field; also he reminded all attendees to apply the outcomes reached in the summit and develop CAS to be the most vital platform for China’s hearing and rehabilitation field.

The China Audiology Summit will take the role of communication and knowledge sharing. As the core part of hearing-impairment prevention and rehabilitation in China, it will continue to support China hearing rehabilitation and improve international communication.

Submitted by: John A. Nelson, PhD, VP – Audiology, ReSound Brand Center. In November 2008, he had the opportunity to attend and present at the first China Audiology Summit in Shanghai. He says it was a great milestone for audiology in China, with many attendees from around the world including the United States.