On the occasion of World Hearing Day, the Audiology and Balance Unit at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently organized a number of activities to raise awareness of hearing care.
The events held under the theme: “Childhood hearing loss: act now, here is now!” was attended by around 100 elementary independent school students. The event featured awareness lectures on the anatomy of the ear, how to take care of the ear and how to avoid injuring the ear whilst cleaning it.
Dr. Khalid Abdul Hadi, Senior Consultant and Head of Audiology and Balance Unit at HMC advised parents on the importance of caring for children’s ears from pregnancy and soon after birth by going for regular screening for early detection and prevention of any hearing impairment.
Dr. Abdul Hadi stated that some 32 million children worldwide are currently suffering from hearing weakness with about 60% of them having congenital weak hearing problems while the remaining are due to injuries or otitis media.
According to Dr. Abdul Hadi, Qatar is regarded as a leader in the early detection of hearing weakness due to the establishment, at HMC in 2013, of the National Center for Early Detection of Hearing Loss. This center focuses on early hearing impairment prevention in children by adopting a three-phase program: newborn screening prior to mother’s discharge after delivery; rescreening of infants during their first vaccination at two months; and at pre-school age.
Dr. Abdul Hadi explained that the National Program of Cochlear Implant has contributed greatly to hearing recovery in many children since its launch in 2008 with more than 161 children gone through cochlear implant.
He added that from the launch of the cochlear implant program to date, a total of 189,031 newborns at Women’s Hospital have undergone hearing screening. The Hearing Screening Clinics at Al Wakra Hospital and Al Khor Hospital screened 4,752 and 1,726 cases respectively in 2015.