Hearing loss: 80,000 affected at some point in their lives

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Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong during the World Hearing day celebration at Holiday Inn. Picture: RAMA

Hearing loss affects an estimated 80,000 Fijians at some point in their lives, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

While officiating at the World Hearing Day symposium at the Holiday Inn, Suva this week, he said this represented a heavy disease burden for individuals, families, and communities.

Dr Fong said most of the cases could be prevented through awareness, timely identification, and early intervention.

“I wish to acknowledge the efforts of civil society partners like the Frank Hilton Organisation, who over many years, have been providing such services in communities, schools and the CWM Hospital, and supporting the ministry in delivering these services to those that need them,” he said.

While launching the inaugural symposium on ear and hearing care under the theme collaborative action can transform health systems, Dr Fong said the symposium brought together critical stakeholders who could collaborate going forward, to foster a holistic approach for dealing with issues relating to deafness and prevention of hearing loss in Fiji.

“The symposium is an opportunity to learn, exchange knowledge and discuss our future course of action through a collaborative approach that brings together the inputs from all sectors and stakeholders, most importantly the service users.

“Through this participatory approach, and with the support of civil society organisations, and relevant sectors within government, the ministry hopes to establish a long-term sustainable plan for the provision of a high standard of ear and hearing care services for all Fijians across the life span.”

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