Approximately 135 million people in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), have ear and hearing issues.
In a statement to mark this year’s World Hearing Day, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said, “At the current rate, it is likely that by 2050 there could be over 338 million people affected by ear and hearing issues in Africa.”
With the theme of this year’s commemoration, Ear and hearing care for all, Moeti said, ”let’s make it a reality so that inequalities disproportionately impact marginalized populations as the burden of ear and hearing problems reflect significantly.
According to her, nearly 80% of the world’s population lives in low- and middle-income countries, with over 1.5 billion people suffering from ear problems and hearing loss.
She lamented that the problems of ear and hearing difficulty have greatly impacted the lives of those affected, their families, and their communities, alleging that they do not know how and where to find help or do not have access to the needed services.
She observed that there was a need for government to prioritise ear and hearing care as part of their non-communicable diseases and universal health care agenda and increase their campaign, and political and financial commitment with a view to curbing the problems associated with the disease.