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March 2, 2024

World Hearing Day: Unaddressed hearing loss costs $1 trillion annually – WHO

World Hearing Day: Unaddressed hearing loss costs $1 trillion annually – WHO

By Chioma Obinna

As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Hearing Day 2024 today, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has disclosed that unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual cost of nearly US$1 trillion globally.

WHO also lamented that deeply ingrained societal misperceptions and stigmatising mindsets were key factors that limit efforts for preventing and addressing hearing loss.

In a message to mark the Day, WH explained that this year’s World Hearing Day 2024 is focusing on overcoming the challenges posed by societal misperceptions and stigmatizing mindsets through awareness-raising and information-sharing, targeted at the public and healthcare providers.

Highlighting the key messages, WHO stated that globally over 80 per cent of ear and hearing care needs remain unmet.
It further stressed that changing mindsets related to ear and hearing care is crucial to improving access and mitigating the cost of unaddressed hearing loss.

“The World Hearing Day 2024 will be observed to counter the common misperceptions and stigmatising mindsets related to ear and hearing problems in communities and among health care providers.

WHO also added that the programme was aimed to provide accurate and evidence-based information to change public perceptions of hearing loss.

WHO called on countries and civil society to address misperceptions and stigmatizing mindsets related to hearing loss, as a crucial step towards ensuring equitable access to ear and hearing care.

“Member States, partners and stakeholders in the field are encouraged to organize events to raise awareness in communities, to address misconceptions around ear and hearing care and ensure accessible ear and hearing care.”