‘Don’t let hearing loss limit you’

Did you know that about 60 percent of hearing loss is preventable? So why do global trends show that it’s on the rise?
Established in 2018, the World Hearing Forum is a global network promoting ear and hearing care across the world. Its vision states: "A world in which no person experiences hearing loss due to preventable causes and those with hearing loss can achieve their full potential through rehabilitation, education and empowerment."

With World Hearing Day taking place on March 3 this year, the aim of the global campaign is to bring awareness to various aspects of hearing care. The WHO explains that “World Hearing Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of ear and hearing care in people’s mind, in the world’s media and the global heath agenda.”

The theme for this year’s World Hearing Day is: “Don’t let hearing loss limit you. Hearing for life.” 

So why does hearing loss matter? 

Because without early identification and intervention, hearing loss can limit the language development of babies and children and result in challenging communication at any age. 

THRIVE parent support group is a South African NPO that brings much needed support to families with deaf and hard of hearing children. 

This support is rendered by fellow parents and includes mentoring of new parents, emotional support, communication support and information sharing. THRIVE believes that with early intervention and active parental involvement, every deaf child can reach their full potential. 

"World Hearing Day 2020 is about all people living their best lives. For the hearing, this means protecting and appreciating the access to sound that you have and for the deaf or hard of hearing, it’s about having no limitations in reaching your full potential. Not all of these limitations are the responsibility of the deaf individual," said Dr Bianca Birdsey, co-founder and co-director of THRIVE.

"A lack of early identification and inadequate early intervention are barriers that are real to South Africa families. All stakeholders, from family members to government, need to join hands in overcoming such barriers. With early identification, early intervention and active family support, deaf and hard of hearing South Africans can reach their full potential, bringing a very special colour of diversity to our Rainbow Nation," Birdsey emphasised.

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In celebration of this diversity, THRIVE will be observing World Hearing Day through a family fun day held on Saturday 29 February in Durban. Anyone wanting more information about this World Hearing day event is welcome to contact Bianca Birdsey on 0833686080. 

For more information about THRIVE visit www.thrivesa.org.za.

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