12th Annual Coalition for Global Hearing Health
January 20-22, 2022 • Fully Virtual
Coalition for Global Hearing Health 2022. Virtual Global Conference. 20 - 22 January 2022. 14h00 - 17h30 (CET)

Abstract Details

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10/26/2019  |   2:15 PM - 3:15 PM   |  Ventana Ballroom C

Launching the 1st UNHS Programme in South Africa

It is estimated that every day 17 babies are born deaf in South Africa and yet despite evidence of the severe language, socio-emotional and cognitive delays these infants then suffer and an international drive to launch infant screening programmes, South Africa has yet to start a Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programme. In a country where issues of poverty, health and housing take precence, this community (which forms 10% of the disability population in South Afrca) has remained invisible and totally neglected. With statistics revealing that a deaf person without early screening and intervention will cost the country $100 000 over their life time, it is imperative that we act. Each day we stall in beginning the work, 17 children are added to the thousands of deaf infants that continue to face silent lives without any chance of equality. More significantly, the parents and families of these deaf infants experience unknown trauma and grief that will impact on their and their families’ mental health This paper presents information on the 1st National UNHS programme launched in South Africa, from planning and lead-up to the implementation, along with the statistics of the 1st co-hort of data. A core strength of the programme is its grounding within the EHDI pathway, following the JCIH suggested best-practice model.

  • Attendees will be able to identify key differences between developing & developed world contexts for paediatric hearing health.
  • Learners will be able to describe the key role of UNHS within the EHDI pathway.
  • Attendees from Developing countries will be able to begin designing their own screening programme “launch plans”

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Claudine Storbeck (Primary Presenter), Wits University,;
Prof Claudine Storbeck is the Director of The Centre for Deaf Studies, which she founded 21 years ago at The University of the Witwatersrand. The CFDS offers a host of research, post-graduate education & training opportunities in Deaf Education and Deaf Studies in South Africa, Africa and abroad. In her passion to support families of deaf and hard of hearing infants, Claudine founded the HI HOPES early intervention programme in 2006. In addition to deaf infants, this home-based, family-centred early intervention programme now also supports families of deafblind & developmentally delayed infants. Claudine played a core role in the groundbreaking launch of Netcare’s Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programme in June 2019. She is a fluent user of South African Sign Language, has been married for 26 years and has 2 gorgeous teenage sons.

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