With World Hearing Day 2023 here, it's crucial to prioritize ear and hearing care as an integral part of universal health coverage. This year's theme, "Ear and hearing care for all!" emphasizes the importance of primary health care and GP practices in supporting clients with hearing loss, identifying their needs, and referring them to appropriate providers, such as cochlear implant programmes when hearing aids are no longer enough.
We are thrilled to share with you two initiatives working towards breaking down some of the barriers currently facing clients and their families. The first initiative is the development of living guidelines for cochlear implantation in adults. These guidelines will be available for primary health care providers, specialists, hearing care providers, and clients. The initiative comprises a Global Task Force of 52 hearing experts representing 58 organizations, including the Pindrop Foundation and CIICA (Cochlear Implant International Community of Action). The initial draft of the guidelines, which you can access HERE has been released for public consultation and feedback.
Clinical guidelines ensure that healthcare decisions are based on the best available evidence to improve clients' quality of life by optimizing hearing function, social participation, and engagement. The living practice guidelines can be adapted and adopted in each country to optimize care for adults who would benefit from cochlear implants.
The Global Task Force encourages health professionals, individuals, and families to provide feedback which you can do by clicking on the image below. The consultation process is open until the 31st May, 2023.
The second initiative has been developed by The World Health Organization and includes a training manual and accompanying handbook for Primary Health Care providers (GP's) titled "WHO Primary Ear and Hearing Care Manuals." The training manual is a practical guide for GP practices to prevent, identify, and manage hearing loss and common ear diseases that lead to hearing loss. This manual is intended mainly for GP's and their health centre colleagues who provide services to people either at their clinics or in the community.
The accompanying handbook is intended for use by those involved in training health workers or coordinating programs for ear and hearing care delivery. It includes guidance on structuring the training course, a suggested timetable, and additional resources. This handbook will help equip trainers with the tools needed to deliver quality ear and hearing care training to primary care providers.
You can spread the word by sharing the manual with your GP and health centre. Simply download the manual and accompanying handbook below. Let's work together to ensure everyone can access essential ear and hearing care services. #EarAndHearingCare #PrimaryCare #WHOTrainingManual #TrainersHandbook