World Hearing Day is an annual advocacy event which aims to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world. The theme for the World Hearing Day 2017 is ‘Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment’.
WHO estimates that approximately 15% of the world’s adult population experience some degree (mild and above) of hearing loss. Of these, 360 million live with disabling hearing loss. Majority of those with hearing loss live in the less developed areas of the world.
The WHO programme for prevention of deafness and hearing loss works with the vision of a world in which no person experiences hearing loss due to preventable causes and those with unavoidable hearing loss can achieve their full potential through appropriate interventions, education and empowerment. It aims to promote ear and hearing care (EHC), integrated within the primary health care systems of its Member States.
WHO estimates that 1.1 billion young people worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. Concerned at the increasing risks posed by exposure to loud sounds from the unsafe use of personal audio devices such as smartphones and MP3 players and noisy entertainment venues including nightclubs, bars and sporting events, WHO launched the Make Listening Safe initiative on 3 March 2015.
The WHO programme for prevention of deafness and hearing loss (PDH) is supported in its activities by a network of WHO Collaborating Centres.
360 millionpeople live with disabling hearing lossGlobal data on hearing loss
>1 billionyoung people (12-35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud soundsMake Listening Safe
Childhood hearing loss
>60%of childhood hearing loss is preventableChildhood hearing loss
7 July 2016
WHO Stakeholders’ Consultation on prevention of deafness and hearing loss
A Stakeholders’ meeting for the WHO programme on prevention of deafness and hearing loss was organized at WHO headquarters on 6-7 July 2016. Ear and hearing care professionals; professional bodies; NGOs; representatives of hard of hearing persons; WHO Collaborating Centres; academic institutions; manufacturers of hearing devices and researchers in the field of hearing met and discussed ways to promote global action on hearing loss, including through World Hearing Day. As an outcome, the group has proposed and initiated the development of a global plan of action with the aim to make ear and hearing care accessible for all.
5 July 2016
Technical meetings on hearing loss
An ad hoc consultation on national strategies and indicators for hearing loss was held on 4-5 July. Experts from across the world worked to lay out the structure for two proposed technical documents, which will support Member States in planning for and monitoring ear and hearing care activities. Another ad hoc consultation on 8 July initiated the process of revision of the WHO Primary Ear and Hearing Care training resources.
30 May 2016
The 139th Executive Board discussed the issue of hearing loss. A resolution was proposed by the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by Columbia, the Dominican Republic and South Africa. Many countries from across all regions appreciated the secretariat report and supported the proposed resolution. The resolution was adopted with minor amendments and will now be tabled at the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017.
3 March 2016
World Hearing Day
Childhood hearing loss: act now; here is how!