A new report called Listen Hear! by The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc—a New Zealand-based nonprofit that promotes the rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals—focuses on the social and economic costs of hearing loss in New Zealand.
According to the WHO, unaddressed hearing loss poses a high cost for the economy globally and has a significant impact on the lives of those affected. Interventions to address hearing loss are available and are cost-effective. Prevention, screening for early identification, rehabilitation through hearing devices, and captioning are among the strategies which can mitigate hearing loss and its consequences. World Hearing Day 2017 highlights actions which can be undertaken by decision-makers to address hearing loss. According to the WHO, the annual cost of hearing loss globally is $750 billion.
The report estimates that 880,000 people in New Zealand are living with some type of hearing loss, which represents 18.9% of the population; the total cost of hearing loss, per annum, in 2016, as estimated by Deloittes Access Economics, Australia, is $4.9 billion.
The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc contends that there is a responsibility and duty to provide people with hearing loss the support they require to improve their lives and futures.
Sources: National Foundation for the Deaf Inc, World Health Organization
Image: National Foundation for the Deaf Inc.