According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in 2005, there were 278 million people (4.6 % of world population) with hearing disability and 364 million people (6 %) with mild hearing impairment. 80 % of them resided in the low or middle income countries. In 2011,WHO reported that people with the hearing disability increased to 360 million (5.3% of world population).The results from our epidemiological study with WHO ear diseases and hearing disorders survey protocol which conducted in Jiangsu, Sichuan, Guizhou and Jilin provinces 2005-2006 (221 million study population) showed the similar prevalence of hearing impairment and disablement as WHO estimated.
Hearing disability was not only to harm impaired individuals and their families, but also became a big burden of the development of whole society. WHO calls state members to take more actions on prevention of deafness and hearing impairment (PDH) and strengthens to build up WHO Collaborating Centre for PDH.
China¡¯s government highly concerned PDH in China. Relevant lows, statutes and regulations were issued in recent twenty years. There are PDH systems, vaccination, newborn hearing screening, reduce of ototoxicity and genetic hearing loss research programs are conducted successfully. The National Ear Care Day (every March Third) was established in 2000.
Jiangsu Province Hospital is a provincial and eastern China regional medical centre. There is ¡°Ear and Hearing Working Team¡± which involved the national PDH programs over twenty years and joined the WHO PDH programs over ten years as well. We have carried on a series of programs such as the national/provincial disablement survey (1987 and 2006), public awareness of hearing loss (particurally activities on National Ear Care Day), the national campaign of ¡°Helping hearing disabled people 2001-2005¡±, "Hearing the Future 2006-2010",. WHO Guidelines for hearing aids and services for developing countries (since 1998), WHO Ear and Hearing Disorders Survey (since 2002), WWHearing program (since 2003), newborn hearing screening program(since 1998), genetic hearing loss research (since 1983), multiple-channel choclear implant (since 1999) etc.
The first ¡°HI / IFOS / ISA Ear and Hearing Centre¡± set up in 2002. The centre was designated as ¡° Jiangsu Provincial Ear and Hearing Centre¡± by Health Department of Jiangsu Province in 2005. The centre was awarded provincial and state prizes four times in recent fifteen years. Prof. Xingkuan Bu, Director of HI / IFOS / ISA Jiangsu Ear & Hearing Center and WHOCC.PDH.NJ, Senior Council Member of Chinese ORL-HNS Association, Chairman of Audiology group of CMA, Member of Audiology Committee of IALP, Vice President of Hearing International, has involved WHO PDH focusing on epidemic study, hearing aids services, newborn hearing screening, primary ear and hearing care since 1998. He was awarded ¡°Jiangsu provincial superexcellent scientific and technology professional¡± in 2004, ¡°State superexcellent scientific and technology professional¡± in 2005. The centre was designated as ¡°WHO COLLABORATING CENTER FOR THE PREVENTION OF DEAFNESS AND HEARING IMPAIRMENT¡± on April 23, 2009 by WHO; Prof. Bu was designated as the director of the centre.
The terms of the centre are:
1.To join the global burden of disease (GDB) 2007;
2.To implement WWHearing program in China;
3.To develop newborn hearing screening program in more places in China;
4.To develop research on genetic hearing loss;
5.Other WHO PDH activities.
We realize that WHO.PDH programs are world wide net work, they need more dedicated people to participate. The designation of WHOCC.PDH.NJ in Jiangsu Province Hospital is a mildstone of future development of PDH in Jiangsu province, China and WPRO. We¡¯ll do more work than our previously done. We believe that the centre will have great success.