World Hearing Day: WHO warns, 1 in 4 people likely to have hearing problems by 2050

Mar 03 2021 02:12 PM
World Hearing Day: WHO warns, 1 in 4 people likely to have hearing problems by 2050

World Hearing Day is observed on 3 March raise awareness about the measures that can be taken to prevent hearing loss. The World Health Organisation (WHO) encourages actions that can promote hearing and ear care.

 The first World Report on Hearing by World Health Organisation (WHO), launched ahead of World Hearing Day on March 3, underlined the need to step up efforts to prevent and address hearing loss by investing and expanding access to ear and hearing care services, reports Xinhua news agency.

Nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide, or one in four people, may be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050, and at least 700 million of them will require access to ear and hearing care and other rehabilitation services unless action is taken, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.

According to the report, almost 60 percent of hearing loss in children can be prevented through measures such as immunization for the prevention of rubella and meningitis, improved maternal and neonatal care, and screening for and early management of otitis media, or inflammatory diseases of the middle ear.

While in adults, noise control, safe listening and surveillance of ototoxic medicines together with good ear hygiene can help maintain good hearing and reduce the potential for hearing loss, it said.

WHO statistics showed that in most countries, ear and hearing care is still not integrated into national health systems and accessing care services is challenging for those with ear diseases and hearing loss. But the most glaring gap in health system capacity is in human resources, the report said. "Untreated hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people's ability to communicate, to study and to earn a living," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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