Cochlear supports the World Health Organisation’s call for urgent global action on hearing loss
3 March is World Hearing Day
Cochlear and hearing health organisations across the globe have joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) on World Hearing Day in the effort to make action on hearing loss a higher health priority for governments, communities and families.
Worldwide, 360 million people, including 32 million children, suffer from disabling hearing loss. An estimated 56 million people would benefit from hearing loss solutions such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, but only a fraction get access1,2.
To support this international day of recognition, Cochlear will be sharing inspiring stories on social media of people who are part of the global Cochlear Family and who describe their devices as "a gift", "a miracle" and “life changing". We wish to share these stories of courage and celebrate the achievements of our implant recipients and their loved ones.
"The reality is that many causes of hearing loss can be prevented through public health measures, screening, early diagnosis and treatment”, Chris Smith CEO of Cochlear said. "But a lot of people just don't know what assistance is out there for them. That's why World Hearing Day is so important - it's a way to increase awareness and reach out to those who need help."
There is a renewed focus within the WHO, supported by many health and advocacy organisations, for a new resolution to inspire global action on hearing loss. A new resolution can take into account the enormous advances in hearing health treatment and technology that did not exist when the last resolution was passed over 20 years ago in 1995.
This year the theme for World Hearing Day is “Childhood hearing loss – Act now, here’s how!”. Up to 60% of global childhood hearing loss may be preventable.1 Hearing loss can lead to the exclusion of a child from education and, later in life, from work opportunities. It can have a devastating emotional impact on individuals and families, and has wider health costs.
"Cochlear is proud to support the WHO and World Hearing Day 2016, and to play a part in raising awareness about hearing loss and the steps that can be taken for better ear and hearing care",
The following actions could be taken to promote hearing health on World Hearing Day:
- Governments can ensure hearing tests are available to every newborn baby; and hearing tests form part of the list regular of health check-ups that everyone from the young to the elderly have throughout life;
- Communities can ensure professionals who are in a position to help (doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers) learn the symptoms of hearing loss and ensure they have enough knowledge to diagnose and discuss appropriate hearing health treatment options and the pathways to help; and
- Families, friends and individuals can learn about the signs of hearing loss and the actions they can take to help a loved one of any age, or to access help if they need it themselves.
Everyone should check their hearing with an online hearing check or find their nearest clinic. Talk to a GP or hearing health professional about hearing loss.
3 March 2016 is the WHO 'World Hearing Day'. The theme is Childhood Hearing Loss 'Act Now – Hear is How'. The aim of WHO activity is to raise awareness of hearing loss, prevent hearing loss and where this has not been possible, to help children to hear. Testing and screening programs, and the availability of advanced hearing aids and Cochlear implants can help millions of children and adults to hear.
About Cochlear Limited
Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of 2,700 people and invests more than AUS$100 million a year in research and development. Products include hearing systems for cochlear, bone conduction and acoustic implants. Over 400,000 people of all ages, across more than 100 countries, now hear because of Cochlear.
- Childhood hearing loss. Act now, here’s how! 2016 Report by World Health Organisation
- Who.int. WHO | Deafness and hearing loss [Internet]. 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/