Hearing loss occurs in new born infants more frequently than any other medical condition where screening for newborns is required. World wide 2000 infants are born with hearing loss every day.
In South Africa, 17 babies are born daily with hearing loss, with many cases undetected.
The South African Association of Audiologists (SAAA) are campaigning in communities to change this situation through educating parents about detecting hearing loss as soon as possible. The importance of this campaign cannot be emphasised enough, because 80% of a child’s language ability is established by the age of 18 months.
Hearing is vitally important to the normal development of language skills. Once a diagnosis has been made, parents can become better equipped with the knowledge and resources to ensure that their child does not experience a language delay.
Parents of newborns to be educated
Language skills are the foundation for the cognitive and socio-emotional development of growing children. SAAA are actively targeting community events in order to educate parents.
At a recent community event in Midrand, 200 parents were actively engaged. But the reach of this campaign must be increased and more parents of new born babies are urged to contact SAAA for more information.
Local parents, Annelise Deuchar from Alberton and Priscilla Jezi from Midrand were recently presented with lucky draw prizes of "play and learn about hearing" kits by SAAA, after attending an event in Midrand (photographs accompany this release).
SAAA appeals to members of the community to come forward in order to participate in their campaign and to shift the silence that may marginalise our children.
The public may contact SAAA via their website www.audiologysa.co.za or at 082 727 5977.
The President of SAAA, Colette Hay is available for interviews and for more detail on the initiative.
(Media Release issued by: Colette Hay, the president of the South African Association of Audiologists, August 2011)