Prevention of blindness and deafness

3 March 2017: World Hearing Day

3 March 2017: Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment

On World Hearing Day 2017, 3 March, WHO drew attention to the economic impact of unaddressed hearing loss through the theme “Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment”. WHO estimates that lack of attention towards hearing loss poses an overall annual cost of 750 billion international dollars globally and has a significant impact on the lives of those affected. Prevention, screening for early identification, rehabilitation through hearing devices, captioning and sign language education are among the cost-effective strategies which can mitigate hearing loss and its consequences.

To mark the Day, WHO released a set of materials including a new report, infographic brochure and posters. An event was hosted at the WHO headquarters chaired by NVI Director, Dr E Krug, during which NVI Technical Officer, Dr S Chadha, presented the new report. Panellists included Dr D McDaid of the London School of Economics who spoke on the cost of hearing loss; Dr C Chiong of the University of the Philippines who offered a case study from the Philippines on the cost-benefit of screening for hearing loss; and Mr E Mukaaya and 10-year-old Ms E Mukaaya of Uganda who provided a personal testimony on the benefit of hearing care interventions.

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