Hearing loss is one of the most common disorders in early childhood , affecting about one to three in every 1,000 newborns. About half of those affected have no obvious risk factors.

Healthy hearing begins with screening for hearing loss at birth. The early years of a child’s life are vital to the development of lifelong communication and psychosocial skills, cognition and literacy. Undetected hearing loss from birth has the ability to affect brain development with profound effect that have a lasting impact.

Newborn hearing screening is an effective preventive measure against permanent hearing loss in newborn babies.

The impacts of deafness later in a child’s life may include lower academic achievement, underemployment, poor social adaptation and psychological distress, and are directly proportional to the severity of hearing loss and the time lag between diagnosis and intervention.

Parents are encouraged to observe the responses of their children to sounds during the early years.