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WHO releases new guidelines on hearing aid services for low-income countries

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has unveiled new technical guidance aimed at enhancing hearing aid services in low- and middle-income regions.  

The guidance, introduced in anticipation of World Hearing Day on March 3, addresses the challenge of limited human resources in areas lacking expertise in hearing assessment, fitting, and maintenance. 

Developed in collaboration with the ATScale Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, the guidance emphasizes the principle of task sharing among specialists and trained non-specialists.  

To tackle misperceptions, WHO has released information products and resources targeting both  

health professionals and the general public. Chadha emphasized the role of governments, healthcare providers, civil society groups, parents, teachers, and physicians in collectively raising awareness, integrating ear and hearing care into primary health care, and mitigating the stigma associated with hearing loss. 

Dr Bente Mikkelsen, WHO Director for the Department for Noncommunicable Diseases, highlighted that out of over 400 million people with hearing loss, less than 20% receive the necessary support.  

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