Hearing management

Updated 11 December 2017

17 babies born deaf in SA daily

Infants born deaf happens more frequently than any other health condition for which new born screening is required.


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 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)


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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