The Dudiology Department at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched 'Neonatal Hearing screening program, Wednesday.
The program was launched at the celebration of the World Hearing Day on the theme" Hearing care for All! Screen, Rehabilitate, and communicate".
World hearing day is held on 3rd March each year, to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.
This year celebration, the ENT unit at KATH also launched a new service introduced in the hospital; thus the Newborn Screening program, to screen all newborns to prevent hearing loss.
Dr. Akosua Agyemang Prempeh head of Audiology Unit at KATH in her opening remarks hinted that most obvious impact of childhood hearing loss on language acquisition, which has consequences for overall literacy and social skills development.
According to her, children with hearing loss have low self-esteem issues and possess a general "out of place" feeling when with their colleagues.
She indicated hearing and related ear diseases can be addressed when identified on time and properly cared for.
"There is a huge number of people living with unaddressed hearing loss, therefore, immediate action is needed to prevent and address hearing loss across the life course," she noted.
Professor Baffour Opoku who represented Ghana Health Service says the occasion is of utmost importance hence the need for national participation.
He said, hearing loss affects about 466million people worldwide, of which 34 million are children.
It is estimated that the figure will increase to 900 million by 2050.
According to him, hearing loss affects 2-4 babies per 1000 live births.
However, KATH has invested in the purchase of equipment to screen new born babies.
The Otoacoustic Emission, which cost thousands of Ghana cedis is a handheld device that can be used at bedside.
He appealed to government and other meaningful institutions to support the fight against hearing loss in the country.