By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that no fewer than135 million people have ear and hearing problems in Africa.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti made this disclosure on Friday, March 3, 2023 in her statement to mark this year’s World Hearing Day.
The theme of this year’s commemoration is: “Ear and hearing care for all! Let’s make it a reality.”
According to Moeti, at the current rate, it is likely that by 2050 there could be over 338 million people affected by ear and hearing issues in Africa.
The WHO regional boss, who stated that the burden of ear and hearing problems reflected significant inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized populations, also added that globally, over 1.5 billion people live with ear problems and hearing loss, with nearly 80 per cent living in low-and middle-income countries.
Dr Moeti said many people with hearing loss did not know how and where to find help or do not have access to the needed services, adding that this greatly impacts on the lives of those affected, their families, and their communities.
She enjoined governments to prioritise ear and hearing care health programmes as part of their non-communicable diseases and universal health care agendas and increase their campaign, political and financial commitment.