• The WHO projects that if nothing is done early enough, one in four will develop hearing loss by 2050.
• It is estimated that by 2050 more than 700 million people or 1 in every 10 people will have disabling hearing loss.
The World Health Organisation has called on countries to ensure that ear and hearing care is integrated into primary care services.
The global health agency notes that ear and hearing problems are among the most common problems encountered in the community, 60 per cent of which can be identified and addressed at the primary level of care.
The WHO projects that if nothing is done early enough, one in four will develop hearing loss by 2050.
WHO attributes this to unsafe listening practices with more than one billion young adults at risk of permanent, avoidable hearing loss globally.
“Integration of ear and hearing care into primary care services is possible through training and capacity building at this level,” WHO says.
“By 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss and at least 700 million will require hearing rehabilitation."
The data according to WHO shows that more than five per cent of the world’s population or 430 million people require rehabilitation to address their disabling hearing loss.
This translates to 432 million adults and 34 million children.
It is estimated that by 2050 more than 700 million people or 1 in every 10 people will have disabling hearing loss.
“The prevalence of hearing loss increases with age, among those older than 60 years, over 25 per cent are affected by disabling hearing loss,” WHO says.
Local data estimates that more than 600,000 Kenyans cannot hear properly, and many more might lose their sense of hearing due to extremely noise-polluted environments in their workplaces and in public transport vehicles that play loud music in spite of prohibitive laws.