A workshop comprised of key investors and healthcare experts from 14 countries, as part of the WHO (World Health Organization) European Region, contributed to stronger implementation of the World Health Assembly resolution WHA70. 13, on preventing deafness and loss of hearing, was approved in 2017.
WHO teamed up with the WHO Collaborating Center for Ear and Hearing Care at the National Research Center for Audiology and Hearing Rehabilitation in Moscow, Russia. This event took place last year in Moscow.
Those who attended the event shared the latest information on how common it currently is for people to have hearing loss. They discussed the rank of ear and hearing care services and corresponding human resources, along with important matters relative to deafness and hearing loss. The result of the event created precedence for action, in addition to a succession of concrete steps towards promoting resolution WHA70. 13, and its endorsements.
A first draft of the WHO world report on hearing was shared with the attendees. The report is based on scientific evidence, as requested by The World Health Assembly. The final draft will be introduced in March 2020.
In September 2018, the World Hearing Forum was founded by WHO. The World Hearing Forum is a global network of investors who advocate ear and hearing care around the world. Members of this group are devoted to assisting with the implementation of resolution WHA70. 13.
Statistics on Hearing Loss
Around the globe, 466 million people have a hearing loss disability. This includes 34 million children. Central and eastern European countries and central Asian countries make up 7.5% of the world’s hearing loss. Adults over 65-years-old have a 1 in 3 chance of experiencing hearing loss.
Predictions have been made on the significant rise in hearing loss due to shifting population growths, escalating liabilities to dangerous factors including noise, and continuing to ignore hearing health or ear conditions like otitis media. Many of these causes for hearing loss can be avoided by taking the right precautions. Unaddressed hearing loss is one of the top causes of depression which, globally, can cost up to $750 billion.
For children, 60% of their hearing loss can be averted through public health policies. Anyone who suffers from hearing loss can get help by practicing timely and appropriate interventions. Exercising the verified methods to prevent hearing loss and improving the hearing health of people with permanent damage requires numerous public health measures. This includes assimilating high-quality, and all-inclusive ear and hearing care services into nationwide health systems.
Usually, hearing loss is manageable through assistive devices, cochlear implants, hearing aids, modern medicine, and surgery. As of today, hearing aid production meets fewer than 10% of global need. Less than 1 in 40 people from developing countries, who need hearing aids, have access to them.
Hearing health care and hearing loss are public health concerns, and Resolution WHA70.13 asks WHO and Member States to improve public health strategies in order to make assistance for ears and hearing accessible for everyone.
For more information on hearing loss and prevention, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.