Newborn Hearing Screening in the Private Health Care Sector--a National Survey (Original Articles) (Survey) - South African Medical Journal

Newborn Hearing Screening in the Private Health Care Sector--a National Survey (Original Articles) (Survey)

By South African Medical Journal

  • Release Date: 2011-09-01
  • Genre: Health & Fitness
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Newborn Hearing Screening in the Private Health Care Sector--a National Survey (Original Articles) (Survey) by South African Medical Journal epub - ebook - audiobook

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Approximately 180 000 babies are born with or acquire permanent bilateral hearing loss (40 dB hearing level (HL)) within the first few weeks of life across sub-Saharan Africa every year. (1) In South Africa an estimated 17 babies are born with a significant permanent bilateral hearing loss every day. (2) These infants can only be detected early enough for optimal intervention outcomes through widespread newborn and infant hearing screening programmes using objective (oto-acoustic emissions and auditory brainstem response screeners) screening technologies. (2-7) Identification is considered late when children are diagnosed after 9 - 12 months of age and have missed access to auditory input during the critical language acquisition period in the first year of life. (4,5,8) Late identification impedes language, psychosocial, emotional and cognitive development in early childhood, which undermines educational and vocational outcomes. (1,3,4,5-9) The effect on quality of life for these children, who become isolated and stigmatised, is dramatic and severe. (1,3,8) From an economic perspective the burden on families, communities and countries has led many countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, to adopt universal newborn hearing screening programmes as standard practice in neonatal care. (4,7,9) Many of these countries screen 95% and more of all babies for hearing loss within the first month of life. (4,5,7,9)

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