Third March is celebrated as World Hearing Day. It is an incentive to raise awareness about deafness and its prevention. It is also a day to spread knowledge about ear and hearing care the world over. Today, there are about 466 million people suffering from hearing loss in the world. This covers about 5% of the human population, and of this 34 million comprise children. Unless action is taken, the World Health Organization estimates that the number of deaf people will rise to over 900 million people by 2050. To promote the cause of raising awareness, here are some key facts.
- 1.5 billion people all over the world live with some form of hearing loss.
- By 2050, nearly 700 million people will require rehabilitation for hearing loss.
- Hearing loss can happen for a number of reasons, some being genetic, birth complications, infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, and prolonged exposure to loud sounds, misuse of ototoxic medicine, and age.
- 60% of hearing loss in children is because of ear infections and birth complications that can actually be addressed through public health measures.
- About 1 billion young adults face the risk of irreversible hearing loss due to unsafe listening habits.
- Hearing loss is an expensive disease, amounting to a whopping expenditure of 980 billion dollars in government expenditure annually.
In order to raise awareness in all these areas, the World Health Organization decides themes on hearing awareness every year and engages in an evidence-based spread of information via posters, banners, presentations, and infographics. It also holds an annual event at its headquarters in Geneva. A number of member states and partner agencies have joined in by hosting their own activities and events.
The above facts were sourced from https://www.who.int/activities/celebrating–world–hearing–day