The first ever WHO World Report on Hearing was launched in 2021, as a technical guide outlining the ongoing shift in the global epidemiology of hearing loss, capturing available solutions and current challenges for ear and hearing care and also establishing priorities to be addressed. It highlights the link between addressing hearing loss and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, according to an announcement on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
Related article: WHO Releases First ‘World Report on Hearing’
The rational for hearing screening across the life course is well outlined in the report. The report shows that increasing hearing screening and early intervention coverage during the next 10 years requires an additional annual per capita investment of $1.33. The resulting health gain during the 10-year period would avert nearly 130 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years), benefit 1.4 billion people, and yield a return of nearly $16 for each $1 invested.
The World Report on Hearing recommends that WHO Member States take urgent and evidence-based policy action to prevent, identify and rehabilitate hearing loss.
To render technical support to the Member States in implementing the recommendation of the world report, WHO has developed the HEARING Screening: Considerations for Implementation. This handbook provides technical guidance required for establishing evidence-based programs for hearing screening facilitating early identification and interventions to address hearing loss and related ear diseases in target groups.
The purpose of the handbook, according to WHO, is to provide guidance on how to undertake:
- Hearing screening in newborns and infants,
- School-based ear and hearing screening ,
- Hearing screening in older people.
The launch of the HEARING Screening: Considerations for Implementation will be accompanied by series of webinars focusing on individual target groups and a call for action, welcoming proposals from state actors including partners and stakeholders for holistic and sustainable implementation of hearing screening their countries’ target population.
Series of Webinars
October 6, 2021
“Focus on ‘HEARING Screening: Considerations for Implementation’ guidance on the hearing screening for newborn babies”
“Focus on ‘HEARING Screening: Considerations for Implementation’ guidance on the hearing screening for schoolchildren”
November 17, 2021
“Focus on ‘HEARING Screening: Considerations for Implementation’ guidance on the hearing screening for older people”