World Hearing Day was marked yesterday (March 3) with the theme Hearing Care for All! Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate. and coincides with the launch of the first-ever World Report on Hearing that calls for global action to address ear diseases and hearing loss.

Events have been underway in various states and territories across the country and Hearing Australia’s ‘Hearing Assessment Program — EarlyEars’ or HAPEE, have released new resources online to help parents and carers.

The HAPPEE program works with regional, rural and remote communities across Australia to tackle hearing loss and the long-term effects of ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The program provides free hearing assessments for children aged 0 – 6 years old and hopes to raise awareness about the importance of early identification of ear and hearing problems.  

Head of the HAPEE program, Michele Clapin said “this is particularly relevant in Australia where one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience chronic ear disease that may lead to hearing loss.”

“Through its HAPEE program, Hearing Australia has an ongoing commitment to action through early diagnostic, rehabilitative and specialist referral services; and an increase in primary health services’ capacity to identify, manage and monitor ear health.,” said Michele.

“We will continue to both lead and contribute to measures that reduce the incidence of preventable hearing loss and halve its prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by 2029.”

Ms Clapin said one of the most common ear issues impacting young children all around the world is Otitis media which is an infection of the middle ear.

“Unfortunately for Aboriginal kids it often starts earlier, it might start as early as two months and is more likely to become chronic and cause long-term hearing loss,” she said.

However, Ms Clapin said it is treatable which is why it is so important to identify hearing loss early and get the treatment started and maybe stop-it is becoming chronic.

Michele Clapin’s full interview with NIRS

For more information go to Hearing Australia or call 134 432