Hearing Care for All: Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate

The World Hearing Day is held on the 3rd of March every year, with the aim to share information and promote actions towards the prevention of hearing loss and improved hearing care, thus raising the awareness among the public community. Each year, a different campaign theme will be announced to share different focuses in the hearing care field.

This year (2021), the theme for the World Hearing Day is

Hearing care for ALL!
Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate

This marks the launch of the World Report on Hearing, aiming to present a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course, as stated in the announcement by World Health Organization (WHO) in their official webpage. This campaign sends key messages targeting different parties, namely the policy makers and general public.

Table 1 Key messages of World Hearing Day 2021 (taken from WHO’s webpage)

Policy makers
  • The number of people living with unaddressed hearing loss and ear diseases is unacceptable.
  • Timely action is needed to prevent and address hearing loss across the life course.
  • Investing in cost effective interventions will benefit people with hearing loss and bring financial gains to the society.
  • Integrate person-centered ear and hearing care within national health plans for universal health coverage.
General Public
  • Good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life
  • Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be avoided through preventative actions such as: protection against loud sounds; good ear care practices and immunization.
  • Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be addressed when it is identified in a timely manner and appropriate care sought
  • People at risk of hearing loss should check their hearing regularly
  • People having hearing loss (or related ear diseases) should seek care from a health care provider

World Report on Hearing (WRH)

The development of the World Report on Hearing (WRH) started with the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA70.13) that was adopted in 2017 to provide guidance for Member States for them to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.

The report presents the epidemiological and financial data on hearing loss based on the best, currently available evidence. It outlines the available cost-effective solutions hence setting the way forward through ‘Integrated people-centered ear and hearing care’ (IPC-EHC). The WRH proposes a set of key H.E.A.R.I.N.G interventions that should be delivered through a strengthened health system to realize the vision of IPE-EHC.

This report was developed by experts and stakeholders in the ear and hearing care field. They have informed the report’s strategic direction and ensured that it reflects a range of cultural contexts to hearing care. It covers global information, yet it keeps a special focus on countries from the low to middle income range. This is because in these locations, there is a possibility where the number of people with hearing loss may not match the availability of services and resources.

For more information regarding the World Report on Hearing, you can visit: https://www.who.int/activities/highlighting-priorities-for-ear-and-hearing-care

WRH’s launching in 2021

Date and Time: 3rd March 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 CET

Venue: Zoom (Virtual event)

The World Health Organization (WHO) held a livestream event, presenting the launch of WRH. The panel includes speech and sharing sessions by health and hearing professionals, involving:

  • Dr Gaya Manori Gamhewage
    Head of Learning & Capacity Development, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO moderator
  • Mr Sandile Majola
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
    Director-General, WHO
  • Dr Shelly Chadha
    Technical Officer, Ear and hearing care, WHO
  • Ms Alana Nichols
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan
    Minister of Health and Family Welfare, India
  • Ms Katherine Bouton
  • Dr Bente Mikkelsen
    Director, Department of Noncommunicable Disease, WHO

To watch the full recorded livestream of the launch of World Report on Hearing, please visit: https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/03/03/default-calendar/launch-of-the-world-report-on-hearing

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