World Report on Hearing

The World Report on Hearing by the World Health Organization (WHO) will provide a snapshot of hearing issues world-wide.

Deafness Forum of Australia is one of the members of a WHO working party that will promote the Report. The material on this page is to help you to understand the purpose of the Report and its expected content. Please share it with interested people and organisations. Feel free to use what we’ve written (below) in your communications.

In Australia, we know that addressing hearing and ear health among First Nation people will make a significant contribution to Closing the Gap.

The World Report on Hearing will deliver a cohesive narrative on hearing loss and ear and hearing care that is based on the best available evidence; outline the shift in the epidemiological distribution of hearing loss globally; highlight best practices for ear and hearing care; and provide governments with guidance on recommended interventions. The report will work towards establishing links between addressing hearing loss and achieving many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Report on Hearing communications strategy has 4 key messages to convey with the release of the Report. These messages are summed up with the theme “Hearing for Life” which stresses the importance of maintaining good hearing and communication across the life course:

  • At all life stages, good hearing health and communication connect us to each other, our communities, and the world
  • Preventative actions at all stages of life can reduce the prevalence of hearing loss
  • Interventions can reduce the impact and improve quality of life in those who have hearing loss
  • Investment in hearing health care and reduction of communication barriers is cost-effective at all stages of life for the individual, family, society, and governments

What is the geographical focus of the World Report on Hearing?

The report will be global in its reach while keeping a special focus on low- and middle-income countries where the number of people with hearing loss is not matched by the availability of services and resources.

What was the genesis for the World Report on Hearing?

In recognition of the rising prevalence of hearing loss globally, the World Health Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in 2017 focused on the prevention of deafness and hearing loss (WHA70.13). The Resolution urges Member States (countries) to make hearing health care a public health priority by making ear and hearing care accessible and integrating ear and hearing care into national health plans. In support of Member States’ efforts to implement this Resolution, the World Health Organization was called upon to prepare a World Report on Hearing.