World Health Organization (WHO). Newborn and infant hearing screening: current issues and guiding principles for action. 2010.
To progress its activities in reducing the global burden of hearing loss, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened an informal consultation on newborn and infant hearing screening. A group of leading experts were invited to share their broad range of experiences of national and multi-country newborn and infant hearing screening activities, and to identify and reach consensus on the key principles required to guide the development of WHO recommendations and technical guidance in this area.
By convening this consultation, WHO is responding to calls from Member States for improved guidance in the conducting of newborn and infant hearing screening to detect potential hearing impairment in full accordance with the overall aim of the WHO Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Impairment programme (PDH):
To assist Member States to reduce and eventually eliminate avoidable hearing impairments through appropriate preventive and rehabilitative measures.
During the course of the consultation, different national and multi-country approaches, methodologies and experiences were shared and reviewed; major related issues discussed; and a number of guiding principles for action formulated. It is intended that this process will help lead to a clear consensus emerging on the most effective, cost effective and appropriate approaches to newborn and infant hearing screening, especially in resource-limited countries.
All WHO strategies in the areas of hearing impairment and deafness are integrated into the overall chronic-diseases prevention and control strategy of the Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion. The objectives of this strategy are to advocate for health promotion and the prevention and control of chronic disease; promote health (especially for poor and disadvantaged populations); slow and reverse the adverse trends in common chronic-disease risk factors; and prevent premature deaths and avoidable disability due to major chronic diseases. These objectives are based upon the guiding principles of comprehensive and integrated public health and intersectoral action, a life-course perspective, and stepwise implementation based on local considerations and needs.
Although the convening of this consultation represents only the beginning of the efforts that will be required to develop the policies and actions needed in this area, the level of commitment and enthusiasm shown by participants and others working in this field is highly
The participants of the WHO informal consultation wish to acknowledge the generous financial support provided by CBM for the completion of this work.
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