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Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2019, 5(1), 7;

Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening Facing Globally Growing Numbers of People Suffering from Disabling Hearing Loss

Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ruhr-University of Bochum, St. Elisabeth-Hospital, Bleichstr. 16, 44787 Bochum, Germany
Blindness, Deafness Prevention, Disability and Rehabilitation Unit, Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
Department of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, National Research Centre for Audiology and Hearing Rehabilitation, 123 Leninsky ave, Moscow 117513, Russia
WHO Collaborating Center for the Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Impairment, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, Utah State University, 2615 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newborn Hearing Screening)
PDF [720 KB, uploaded 18 January 2019]


Recent prevalence estimates indicate that in 2015 almost half a billion people—about 6.8% of the world’s population—had disabling hearing loss and that prevalence numbers will further increase. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently estimates that at least 34 million children under the age of 15 have disabling hearing loss. Based on a 2012 WHO report, approximately 7.5 million of these children were under the age of 5 years. This review article focuses on the importance of high-quality newborn and infant hearing screening (NIHS) programs as one strategy to ameliorate disabling hearing loss as a global health problem. Two WHO resolutions regarding the prevention of deafness and hearing loss have been adopted urging member states to implement screening programs for early identification of ear diseases and hearing loss in babies and young children. The effectiveness of these programs depends on factors such as governmental mandates and guidance; presence of a national committee with involvement of professionals, industries, and stakeholders; central oversight of hearing screening; clear definition of target parameters; presence of tracking systems with bi-directional data transfer from screening devices to screening centers; accessibility of pediatric audiological services and rehabilitation programs; using telemedicine where connectivity is available; and the opportunity for case discussions in professional excellence circles with boards of experts. There is a lack of such programs in middle- and low-income countries, but even in high-income countries there is potential for improvement. Facing the still growing burden of disabling hearing loss around the world, there is a need to invest in national, high-quality NIHS programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: hearing loss; children; newborn hearing screening; neonatal hearing screening; infant hearing screening hearing loss; children; newborn hearing screening; neonatal hearing screening; infant hearing screening

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Neumann, K.; Chadha, S.; Tavartkiladze, G.; Bu, X.; White, K.R. Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening Facing Globally Growing Numbers of People Suffering from Disabling Hearing Loss. Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2019, 5, 7.

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Int. J. Neonatal Screen. EISSN 2409-515X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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