There is a growing crisis of disabling hearing loss in developing countries across the world. Hearing disability ranks third on the list of non-fatal disabling conditions in all countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are currently 360 million people living with disabling hearing loss – this includes people with moderate, severe or profound hearing loss.
The broader estimate, which includes those with mild hearing loss, is currently sitting at 1019 million. This number is growing rapidly, due to population growth, people living longer, and increasing incidence from conditions such as noise-induced hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss is crippling to individuals, families, communities and countries as a whole. Consequences include poor language and speech development, limited and no education, lack of vocational opportunities, stigmatisation, as well as massive economic effects on individuals and societies.