Jakarta (ANTARA) - Director General of Disease Prevention and Control at the Health Ministry Maxi Rein Rondonuwu stated that education, particularly spread by media, is vital to ensure that people can be informed about maintaining their hearing health.

Rondonuwu emphasized that 60 percent of the causes of hearing loss, such as infections and loud places, can be managed or prevented.

"The most important is how we promote to improve public awareness while also preventing hearing loss through effective early detection measures," he noted at a press conference hosted by the Health Ministry here on Friday.

He remarked that a person with hearing loss can only hear sounds at 20 decibels or higher. Citing data from The Lancet, he stated that within a period of 25 years, the global prevalence of hearing loss had increased. In 2015, he said, the number cranked up, from 14.3 percent to 18.1 percent.

In Indonesia, data from Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) in 2013 showed that hearing loss prevalence in kids five years and older is 2.6 percent, thereby translating to the fact that for every 100 children, two or three suffer from hearing loss.

He highlighted that this year, Indonesia brought up "Change your Mindset, Let's Be Aware, Hearing Loss is Treatable" as its theme for World Hearing Day. The theme was chosen to remind people of the importance of maintaining hearing health.

According to Rondonuwu, the current issue is changing the people's mindset, so they would take hearing health more seriously. Maxi emphasized that hearing is a valuable asset to everyone, particularly children, due to which education on it is deemed important.

"Everyone must check up on their hearing health from time to time, particularly those at high risk of hearing loss," he stressed.

Rondonuwu remarked that those at high risk are people above 50 years of age, those working in loud places like airports, as well as those listening to music on high volume for prolonged periods of time.

He also warned against using sharp objects to clean the ear or inserting liquid into the ear, except when it is some medication prescribed by doctors.

Moreover, Rondonuwu said he suggested wearing ear protection gear in noisy places and listening on a volume level that is deemed safe. He cautioned that in case one experiences pain in the ear, or stuffiness, it could mean infections, and one should immediately seek medical assistance and avoid places deemed infectious.

Maxi also highlighted the importance of rehabilitative efforts, such as installation of cochlear implants, therapies, and sign language, so as to enable them to reach their fullest potential and achieve remarkable things.

Citing data from the World Health Organization in 2021, he stated that 65 percent of the disabilities globally are caused by hearing loss. Thus, he said, the problem has put heavy strain on the global economy.

"Almost a trillion dollar per year," he remarked.

Maxi also noted that the number had yet to include other funding for social support, such as for education and to make up for declining productivity.

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Reporter: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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