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Hearing loss can be prevented

- Wits University

Deafness on campus brought to the fore on International Ear Care Day.

In South Africa, 20% of the population is reported to have significant and permanent hearing loss, with studies suggesting that about 3 to 6 babies in every thousand babies born develop hearing loss or have major hearing difficulties.

Children are the focus of the 2016 International Ear Care Day themed: Childhood hearing loss: Act now, here is how. The day commemorated annually on 3 March aims to draw attention to the fact that the majority of causes which lead to hearing loss in children can be prevented through public health measures.

Further, those who have hearing loss can benefit greatly from early identification and suitable, timely interventions. The day aims to raise awareness about public health strategies to reduce the prevalence and impact of hearing loss.

To mark this day, the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, housed in the School of Human and Community Development at Wits gathered students today, 3 March 2016 on the Great Hall steps, arranged them into the word "HEAR" and took a photo of the gathering, to highlight the issue of deafness on campus. Students also handed out flyers and carrying posters highlighting the need for ear care.

International Ear Care Day: Hear

 

The event also forms part of the celebrations of the Wits Department of Speech Pathology, which marks its 80th anniversary this year. The Department offers services to the public through the Wits Speech and Hearing Clinic.

“This year, people are encouraged to consider deafness and related issues. People who are deaf may be excluded from many social, political, educational, cultural and economic circles because hearing people may find communicating with them difficult. It is through advocacy campaigns such as International Ear Care Day that we hope to change mindsets and invite people to think about services and how they empower themselves. ,” says Dr Victor De Andrade, Speech Pathologist, Audiologist and Lecturer at Wits.

It is through advocacy campaigns such as International Ear Care Day that we hope to change mind sets and invite people to think about services and how they empower themselves,” says Dr Victor De Andrade, Speech Pathologist, Audiologist and Lecturer at Wits.

Wits University offers a range of services in this area ranging from hearing tests to deaf baby support services and sign language lessons. For more on these, visit:

*Photo Credit: Yangchen Jagannath (Blueboy Films)
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