Hearing loss is the fourth leading cause of disability. The impact of hearing loss or deafness is very broad and severe
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The current number of hearing aids could not meet the needs of all deaf patients worldwide, according to the Health Ministry.

“Hearing loss is the fourth leading cause of disability. The impact of hearing loss or deafness is very broad and severe," the ministry's Director General of Disease Prevention and Control Maxi Rein Rondonuwu stated during the 2022 World Hearing Day Media Gathering on Tuesday.

Rondonuwu noted that hearing loss could impede a person's cognitive, psychological, and social development. Thus, the quality of human resources had decreased on a global scale.

He cited data from The World Report on Hearing 2021 that showed 1.5 percent of the world's population suffered from hearing loss, 430 million of which required rehabilitation services for bilateral hearing loss.

Related news: Gov't strategizing to change pandemic status to endemic: Minister

The World Health Organization (WHO) also estimated that 20 percent of the people with hearing loss require hearing aids.

Unfortunately, the devices produced to date could only meet 10 percent of the needs globally. In fact, it only fulfills three percent of the needs of patients in a developing country. This means the patients' access to these items was still limited.

Data from the 2019 Social Health Disability Management Information System detailed that people with deafness constituted seven percent of the total citizens with disabilities.

Related news: Most COVID-19 patients who died still unvaccinated: Health Minister

"On the other hand, the global prevalence of moderate to severe hearing loss increases (as people get older. The rate goes up by 12.7 percent at the age of 60 years. (It could go up to) more than 58 percent by the age of 90 years," he revealed.

Rondonuwu cautioned that in the absence of appropriate countermeasures in the era where information technology is developing at a rapid pace, the number of people affected by hearing loss will increase, not to mention contributing factors, such as a noisy workplace, congenital diseases, or new habits that people have developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as using headsets.

Thus, he expects that the needs of all people with hearing impairments or deafness, both in Indonesia or globally, could be met.

He is also upbeat about hearing loss being prevented since childbirth through balanced nutrition.

Related news: Military, police officers must not meddle in democracy: President

Related news: Military, police officers should have digital capabilities: President

Translator: Hreeloita D S, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2022