New Audiology Australia position statement – Hearing Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Communities in parts of Australia have rates of chronic middle ear disease (otitis media) that are classified by the World Health Organization as an urgent public health problem.
Good hearing and ear health (hearing health) is crucial to achieving positive educational, social and health outcomes. Hearing loss, especially in childhood, can lead to linguistic, social and learning difficulties and behavioural problems in school. Such difficulties may reduce educational achievements and have lifelong consequences for wellbeing, employment, income and social success, while potentially increasing adverse contact with the criminal justice system. Otitis media is also associated with social determinants of health, including poverty and crowded housing conditions.
While there is evidence of effective hearing services and programs, Audiology Australia is concerned that health initiatives over the past two decades that were intended to reduce the unacceptably high incidence of ear disease and hearing disability among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have not had a substantially significant impact across Australia.
Through its position statement, Audiology Australia makes recommendations about how this national crisis can be addressed.
To read the position statement, click here and to read a summary of the position statement click here
To access the references of the position statement, click here