Prevention of blindness and deafness

International Ear Care Day: 3 March

International Ear Care Day 2015: Make Listening Safe

International Ear Care Day is an annual advocacy event held on 3 March. Designated at the First International Conference on Prevention and Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment in Beijing, China in 2007, the Day aims to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

Each year, this Day addresses a specific theme and activities are carried out by WHO and its partners. In 2014, the theme was “Ear Care Can Avoid Hearing Loss”. This theme targeted all age groups and promoted hearing health through ear care. In conjunction with the Day, WHO released the report Multi-country assessment of national capacity to provide hearing care. Partners and countries across all regions hosted activities and events to mark the Day, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. In 2013 the theme was “Health Hearing, Happy Life – Hearing Health Care for Ageing People”. The Day was marked by the release of global data on the number of people with hearing loss.

In 2015, the theme for International Ear Care Day is ‘Make Listening Safe’. This theme will draw attention to the rising problem of noise-induced hearing loss. It raises the alarm that millions of teenagers and young people are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events. It highlights that such recreational hearing loss has potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental health, education and employment. The following activities have been organized for the International Ear Care Day at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland:

  • Release of new WHO estimates of the number of people at risk for hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices;
  • Launch of the “Make Listening Safe” initiative with publication of a brochure, flyer, posters, and infographic;
  • Promotion of the Day and the above advocacy materials through the WHO web site and social media platforms.
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