Hearing loss is the most common sensory disability globally. In view of the prevalence, preventability and public health impact of this condition, 3 March is observed as the International Ear Care Day.
This date was selected due to the shape of the numbers in 3.3, being representative of the two ears. The date was approved as China’s National Ear Care Day by China’s government in 1999. In 2007, China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) and WHO jointly hosted the First International Conference on Prevention and Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment in Beijing. A key output of this conference was the "Beijing Declaration" which included the following prominent recommendation: Establish “International Ear Care Day,” for promoting global actions on hearing care, and minimizing occurrence of hearing impairment.
According to the new estimates on the magnitude of disabling hearing loss by WHO 2012, there are 360 million persons in the word with disabling hearing loss (5.3% of the world’s population), and approximately one-third of persons over 65 years in the world affected by disabling hearing loss. We have to put prevention of hearing impairment focus on ageing people. So, this year the theme for the Day is Healthy Hearing, Happy Life - Hearing Health Care for Ageing People.
We request everyone to share this information as widely as possible and encourage activities for promotion of this day. Community based activities relating to ear and hearing care, especially in the elderly, could be planned on this day. Suggested activities could include:
1. Campaigns to raise awareness regarding ear and hearing care, hearing loss and use of hearing aids.
2. Screening camps for detection of hearing loss in the elderly and hearing aid fitting.
3. Advocacy with policy makers
4. Advocacy through websites (with a link to WHO PBD site, if possible): http://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/en/