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AIHW Report: Hearing Health Outreach Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children in Northern Territory

Oct 31, 2023

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has published a new report on the
hearing health outreach services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders children
and young people in the Northern Territory.

Read the full report: Hearing health outreach services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
children in the Northern Territory.

Overall, hearing health is improving among children and young people who received hearing health outreach services between 2012 and 2022. However, many children and young people in the Northern Territory are still waiting for hearing health services.

Summary of key statistics published in the report:

  • In 2022, 1,751 First Nations children and young people received at least one hearing
    outreach service in the Northern Territory.
  •  The hearing outreach services provided in 2022 include:
    • 1,956 audiology services
    • 575 ear, nose and throat (ENT) teleotology services
    • 941 Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) visits.
  • From July 2012 to December 2022, a total of 41,259 CNS, audiology and ENT teleotology services were provided to more than 11,000 children and young people.
  • In 2022, 1,956 outreach audiology services were provided to 1,741 First Nations children and young people. From July 2012 to December 2022, a total of 22,796 audiology services were provided to about 10,100 children and young people.
  • In 2022, 34 per cent of First Nations children who received outreach audiology services had hearing loss – down from 55 per cent in 2012. This is a decrease by 21 percentage points, from 55 per cent in 2012 (388 of 710 children and young people) to 34 per cent in 2022 (593 of 1,741 children and young people).
  • The percentage of First Nations children and young people with at least 1 ear condition decreased by 11 percentage points, from 66 per cent in 2012 (483 of 727 children and young people) to 55 per cent in 2022 (968 of 1,751 children and young people).
  • As at December 2022, there were 3,265 First Nations children and young people on the audiology waiting list, and 2,284 children and young people on the waiting list for ENT teleotology services.