Buenos Aires —Argentina has passed a law for universal hearing screening for newborns and appropriate early treatment when needed. The law covers screening and also guarantees total coverage for the first hearing aids or cochlear implants for all children diagnosed with hearing loss.

Previously, the hearing screening program was mainly conducted for newborns at risk, so that every second case passed undetected, and the treatment was free only for those children with health care assistance coverage.

The law, passed in July 2011, aims to reinforce the national program and implement coordinate actions to ensure an early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss free for all children. In Argentina, hearing loss affects up to one in 1,000 newborns.

“Prevention, early detection, and obviously an adequate treatment means that the affected children will be able to develop in a natural way to use all their potential, with the same opportunities as their peers,” explains Alfredo Pallante, chairman of CONALUS, the national organization against deafness in Argentina.

SOURCE: Hear-it