The Fact Maker

Celebrating International Deaf Week: To Address Global Impact of Hearing Loss

20th September to 26th September 2023

The World Federation of Deaf (WFD) and its national affiliates across the globe celebrate the International Week of the Deaf during the final week of September, from Monday to Sunday. The week ends with International Deaf Day on the last Sunday of that week. The theme for 2023 is “A world where deaf people everywhere can sign everywhere.”

Hearing loss ranks as the third-most significant global health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 5% of the world’s population requires rehabilitation to manage their disabling hearing loss. Currently, 430 million people worldwide are affected by hearing loss. Estimations suggest that by 2050, over 700 million people, or 1 in every 10 individuals, will experience disabling hearing loss.

More than 50% of the factors contributing to hearing loss are preventable, and early detection plays an important role in the treatment and mitigation of hearing loss and its consequences. We, as a society and responsible citizens, should focus on preventing and addressing hearing loss. The medical community, governments, NGOs, and citizens all have a crucial role to play in striving for a society free from hearing impairment.

Raising awareness about noise pollution, providing proper prenatal care, reducing exposure to loud noises, maintaining good ear health, considering medical or surgical treatments when necessary, and using hearing aids are significant factors. Additionally, it’s essential to avoid the use of ototoxic drugs, which can harm hearing.

Universal newborn hearing screening is key to early identification, and it enables early intervention, through this they can continue mainstream education. 

Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee hills is the first hospital in city to start Newborn Hearing screening mandatory for all the children born in Apollo Hospitals or Apollo cradle. Apollo Cochlear implant clinic is the largest cochlear implant programme in Asia and made more than 2000 children and adults to restore their hearing and lead normal life.