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Most hearing loss “can be prevented”, says WHO

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Baku, March 3, AZERTAC

Identifying children with hearing loss has never been more important as the condition is preventable in most cases, the World Health Organization, or WHO, said Thursday, according to UN Radio.

Making the announcement, the UN agency said that new data showed that six in 10 children could be helped, if identified soon enough.

The message is part of WHO's message for World Hearing Day 2016.

Nearly 32 million children live with hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization, and nearly all of them come from the world's poorest countries.

For the majority of these youngsters – around 60 per cent of them – their hearing loss could have been prevented.

As part of its World Hearing Day message, the UN health agency says that immunization against disease is a key measure.

So too is quickly identifying children with the condition, but WHO's Dr Alarcos Cieza said that some parents hide their child's disability because they are ashamed.

"It is a tremendous barrier, a barrier not only for hearing loss, but for all people living with disabilities. We have to starting to think of disability as a reality that is part of the human condition."

The principal cause of childhood hearing loss is genetic, followed by infections such as measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis, then birthing complications.

In addition, an estimated four per cent of cases result from expectant mothers and new-borns unknowingly using medicines that are harmful to hearing.

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