Next month marks a critical point in the battle for global access to hearing health. After a 21 year interval and over 5 years of lobbying effort, the World Health Organization is poised to adopt a new resolution in support of hearing loss services at the WHO General Assembly May 23 – 31, 2017. As you may know, the last WHA Resolution was in 1995. Since that time the estimate of disabling hearing loss prevalence in the world has tripled to 360 million people and we have a much better appreciation of the far reaching consequences of untreated hearing loss. Unfortunately, roughly 80% of those affected with hearing loss live in low resource areas that do not have adequate access to care.
The new resolution includes language that requires regular progress reports and commits the WHO to continue working on this important issue. Below is a copy of the new resolution. But the passage of this resolution is far from certain. As otolaryngologists, we desperately need to reach out to our government officials to support this resolution. Please take a few moments to contact your Ministry of Health and ask them to vote yes on this resolution. A list of WHA delegates is also attached to this email.