The first world report on hearing released by the World Health Organization (WHO) has unconcealed that by 2050 1 in 4 people will be living with some degree of hearing loss.
The report has been released as part of the commemorations for World Hearing Day which falls on the March 3 every year.
Launching the report WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, highlighted that Untreated hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people’s ability to communicate, to study and to earn a living. It can also impact on people’s mental health and their ability to sustain relationships,.
The report underlines the need to rapidly step up efforts to prevent and address hearing loss by investing and expanding access to ear and hearing care services.
Lack of accurate information and stigmatizing attitudes to ear diseases and hearing loss often limit people from accessing care for these conditions.
Even among health-care providers, there’s often a shortage of knowledge about prevention, early identification and management of hearing loss and ear diseases, hampering their ability to provide the care required.
In children, almost 60% of hearing loss can be prevented through measures such as immunization for prevention of rubella and meningitis, improved maternal and neonatal care, and screening.