- Published on 04 March 2021
Some 430 million people have hearing loss requiring rehabilitation services, and many, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), can be treated cost effectively by hearing technology if it comes with professional support.
The newly released World Report on Hearing underlines the role that hearing aids and cochlear implants have as timely interventions to address hearing loss. However, “it is essential that their use is accompanied by appropriate support services and rehabilitative therapy to ensure the desired outcomes,” reads the document, which was released to a fanfare sounding throughout and beyond the audiology community on March 3, 2021, World Hearing Day.
The WHO executive summary of its world hearing analysis and aims also points out that “any decisions relating to treatment and rehabilitation follow a person-centred approach and involve the individual’s family or carers”.
Hearing loss currently affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, of whom 430 million have moderate or higher levels of loss in the better hearing ear. In children, almost 60% of hearing loss is due to causes that can be prevented, claims the report. Systematic screening to identify loss is a crucial first step, it underlines.
The report emphasises the significant progress made in the last decade in audiological technology and rehab, while also firmly mapping out a desired social framework for prevention, management, treatment, communication, and access, among other carefully plotted goals
˝Countries should determine which interventions best suit their needs by conducting an evidence-based consultative prioritisation exercise,” says the WHO, which projects a 90% scaling up in hearing care services.