According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 300 million people worldwide, including 78 million children, suffer from moderate to profound hearing loss. A vast majority of these individuals live in developing countries, where there is shortage of food, water, and basic health care. Screening, treatment and rehabilitation programs for those suffering from a hearing impairment are not widely available; the WHO says that fewer than 1 out of 40 people in developing regions who need a hearing aid have one.
The Coalition for Global Hearing Health, a new organization made up of humanitarian hearing health professionals, is raising awareness and looking for solutions to this global crisis. The group will hold its first conference on June 14 and 15 2010 in Washington D.C., where issues of crucial importance will be discussed. Among them are subjects such as newborn hearing screening in developing countries, dispensing low-cost hearing aids and cochlear implants in the needy regions, ethics of hearing health care in the developing nations, preventing deafness through vaccination programs, and many others.
To learn more about this organization and their efforts visit: http://coalitionforglobalhearinghealth.org/