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10/14/2017  |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM   |  East Ballroom at Shalala Student Services Building


OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM. 360 million people globally are estimated by WHO to have disabling hearing loss, including 32 million children. Over 1 billion have any level of hearing loss. 80% live in low and middle income countries. Hearing loss damages language development in young children, slows school progress, causes difficulties in the work-place, increases isolation, stigmatization and dementia and is a cause and consequence of poverty. IMPORTANCE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH. Hearing loss is largely avoidable through appropriate prevention strategies but is generally neglected due to lack of awareness amongst health professionals , policy makers, and the public. It can only be addressed on a large scale by adopting a public health approach within existing health systems. WHY IS TRAINING IN PLANNING NECESSARY? Public Health programmes and projects must be developed and implemented on a population scale. Good planning is an essential component of the public health approach. Health professionals and government officials are often unfamiliar with the concepts and methods of planning, especially for hearing loss. The 2017 World Health Assembly Resolution and Action Plan for Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss will likely lead to greater need for professionals trained in the public health approach. TRAINING IN PUBLIC HEALTH PLANNING FOR HEARING IMPAIRMENT We have developed a training programme to expand capacity building for public health knowledge and skills in ear and hearing health amongst professionals and health planners. Since 2009 we have joined with local colleagues to train 780 professionals in 7 centres in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. PRESENTATION This presentation will:- • Describe the philosophy and methods of the training programme • Review its achievements to date including its impact • Put forward plans for development, especially on how the training programme will respond to the tasks for Member States proposed in the WHA Resolution.

  • To learn about the principles of the public health approach to prevention and management of hearing loss.
  • To understand the need for health professionals to be trained in public health planning for hearing impairment
  • To be made aware of future plans for development of the course programme and its relevance for the implementation of the new WHA Resolution on Prevention of Hearing Loss.

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Andrew Smith (Primary Presenter), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,;
I am an Honorary Professor at the International Centre on Evidence for Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 2008. My interest is studying, promoting and teaching public health approaches to prevention and rehabilitation of hearing loss in low and middle income countries, and in disadvantaged communities in high-income countries. Since 2009, I and a colleague have developed and run 5-day courses on Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment. Up till now, we have trained 946 health workers from 43 countries in 26 courses at 12 centres mainly in low and middle income countries.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - Receives support from CBM.