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The following activities have been undertaken by the WHO programme on ear and hearing care with support from the International Society of Audiology.

A.   Development of technical and information materials related to the World Hearing Day 2021

On 3 March 2021, WHO led the World Hearing Day. A number of information products were developed including:

B.     Launch of the World Report on Hearing

The World report on hearing was launched by the WHO on 3 March 2021 with the following launch events:

  • Global virtual launch event in English transmitted live on 3 March 2021 (details)
  • Global virtual launch event in Chinese transmitted as a pre-recorded event on 3 March 2021 (details
  • Regional launch in South-East Asia held as a live event on 4 March 2021
  • Regional launch in the region of the Americas held as a live event on 4 March 2021
  • Press briefing with launch of new hearing loss data on 2 March 2021 (read here)

In addition, numerous national launches were held, e.g., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia and others.

C. Dissemination actions following the launch

  • Regional consultation on implementation of the World report on hearing was held in the Eastern Mediterranean region on 1-2 June 2021 with participation of 23 participants from 10 countries.
  • Consultation of the Central and East Africa Forum for ear and hearing care was held on 24 June 2021 to discuss the implementation of the World report on hearing. With participation of 18 participants from 9 countries.
  • Regional consultation on implementation of the World report on hearing was held in the region of the Americas on 16-17 June 2021 with participation of 31 participants from 14 countries.
  • Webinar to discuss implementation of the World report on hearing in the countries of the Caribbean was held on 1 July 2021. 25 participants from 6 countries participated in the webinar.

D. Launch of companion handbook: “Hearing screening: considerations for implementation”

To facilitate the implementation of the recommendations made in the World report on hearing and to assist Member States in setting up screening programmes for ear and hearing problems, WHO is launching the “Hearing screening: considerations for implementation” handbook. The handbook provides guidance on ear and hearing screening in:

·       Newborns and infants

·       School children

·       Older people

The launch is organized for 15 September 2021. (Details)
Following this, a series of three webinars were organized focusing on the specific target groups for screening.

E. Ear and hearing care situation analysis

Using the WHO ear and hearing care situation analysis tool, assessments are being undertaken in the following regions:

·     South-East Asia region (selected countries)

·     Region of the Americas (selected countries)

·     African region (region-wide)

·     Western-Pacific region (region-wide)

Challenges faced:

Challenge was posed by the ongoing pandemic which has made it essential to undertake all events and activities virtually. Despite this, widespread media coverage was gained, and political interest has been generated through the launch and dissemination of the World report on hearing.

Planned actions:

  1. Development and launch of the Global standard for safe listening entertainment venues and events
  2. Development of service delivery models for provision of hearing technologies in LMICs
  3. Development of training resources for health workers and primary level doctors

World Report
On Hearing

The World report on hearing envisions a world in which no individual experiences hearing loss due to preventable causes, and those with hearing loss can achieve their full potential through rehabilitation, education and empowerment.

The reports are available as PDF downloads: 


Good hearing is important at all stages of life, but it is often taken for granted.

Hearing is essential for human development and for the perception of our environment. It is important for spoken communication, learning, socio-emotional functioning and it warns us of potential danger.  

Recent studies suggest that more than 5% of the world’s population has disabling hearing impairment (WHO)with the prevalence increasing from 50% to 90% between the age of 60 to 90 years. This places a burden on human health and society.

The impact of hearing impairment  

Hearing impairment is a hidden disease that is not visible to others and it often develops gradually from mid-life onwards. To address hearing impairment in a timely manner it is of paramount importance to screen the hearing of babies at birth, of school-age children and thereafter, at regular intervals up to the last decade of life. Over the past decades several cost-effective methods and resources have been developed which should be implemented and shared globally to provide equal opportunities for all.

Irreversible hearing damage by loud noises 

Hearing screening should go together with awareness campaigns on the irreversible damage caused by exposure to loud noise and the multitude of preventive actions, such as wearing protective headphones/ear buds and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Persons who are at risk of hearing loss should have their hearing checked regularly. 

World Hearing Day 2021 marks the launch of the World Report of Hearing, presenting a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course. This is highly endorsed by the International Society of Audiology (ISA) that supports global development of Hearing Science and International Hearing Healthcare.

Info Box:

The mission of ISA is to connect professionals in ear and hearing care across the globe.

World Hearing Day, 3 March 2021: Launch of the World Report on Hearing

This year the World Hearing Day is being observed with the theme: Hearing care for all. On this day, WHO will launch the World report on hearing that was requested by the World Health Assembly resolution of 2017.

Please find below important information regarding the launch of the report and the World Hearing Day 2021:

January 2021

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization(WHO) at its 148th session in January 2021 decided to maintain the International Society of Audiology (ISA) in official relations with WHO. 

Click here to download the notification

Click here to download the notification from WHO with regards to the list of non-state actors in relations with WHO

General Assembly

December 2020

The General Assembly of the ISA was held via Zoom on the 14 December 2020. The minutes of the meeting are available to the members when logging into the self-serve platform.

Details of the new executive board are available by clicking here

Congratulations to Soul, Korea as the successful bidders of the 2026 WCA.

Congratulations to the WCA Scholarship Awardees



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