WHO: immunizing children can prevent hearing loss

Geneva - The World Health Organization has stated that immunizing children against childhood diseases prevents the problems of hearing loss.

The WHO message was released in the context of International Hearing Day 2020, and underlines that a simple strategy is to immunize them against diseases such as measles, meningitis, rubella and mumps.

The agency said that in general, half of the cases of hearing loss can be prevented with public health measures.

In children under 15, 60 percent of hearing loss is attributable to preventable causes due to infections such as mumps, measles, rubella, meningitis, cytomegalovirus infections and chronic otitis media; complications and asphyxia at birth, low weight, prematurity and jaundice; or use of ototoxic medication in pregnant women.

A positive step would be to vaccinate adolescent girls and women of reproductive age against rubella before pregnancy; promote the prevention of cytomegalovirus infections in pregnant women through good hygiene; detect and treat syphilis and other effects in pregnant women.

The international organization warned that over five percent of the world's population has a disabling hearing loss and one in 10 will have one in 2050.

In the case of children with untreated hearing loss, there is usually a delay in language development and, therefore, problems in academic performance.

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