Hearing loss is the most common sensory disability in the world. 360 million people live with disabling hearing loss, but many of the causes are preventable, and others can be effectively treated. Because hearing loss is widespread and has a tremendous impact on public health, it is important to address the issue and promote activities and initiatives relevant to prevention of hearing loss.
International Ear Care Day was established in 2007 following the First International Conference on Prevention and Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment in Beijing, jointly held by China Rehabilitation Research Center for Deaf Children (CRRCDC), Beijing, China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), and WHO. A key product of this conference was the "Beijing Declaration," which included establishing International Ear Care Day. The date was selected as the shape of the numbers – 3.3 – resembles two ears.
Every year, International Ear Care Day addresses a specific theme and carries out an extensive range of activities with broad participation in order to raise awareness of hearing care and the prevention of hearing loss. The day is observed by various organizations such as Sound Hearing 2030, CBM, Hearing Conservation Council and many countries.
Since 2012, WHO has endorsed the day through a media campaign involving the WHO website, Facebook and Twitter. Materials are developed and public health activities are undertaken according the theme. The theme for 2013 was ‘Healthy hearing: happy ageing’ and in2014, ‘Ear care can avoid hearing loss’.
About the Ida Institute:
The Ida Institute is an independent, non-profit organization that aims to foster a better understanding of the human dynamics of hearing loss. Ida is based in Denmark, and funded by a grant from the Oticon Foundation.
About the WHO:
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.