987 out of 253,822 babies screened in 2023 have hearing issues

CYBERJAYA: A total of 987 babies out of 253,822 born and screened last year have hearing issues.

The babies were screened under the Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening (UNHS) programme in 48 hospitals last year.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the babies with hearing problems were undergoing treatment.

"The data shows that four in 1,000 babies have hearing problems," he said after the Hear Me's Got Talent event in Cyberjaya Hospital here today.

He said this year, the UNHS programme was extended to 61 public hospitals.

He said the World Health Organisation's 2021 World Report on Hearing revealed that nearly US$1 trillion was lost each year due to untreated hearing loss.

"Until action is taken, this figure will continue to rise in the coming decades.

"Investments in ear and hearing care are proving to be cost-effective. Governments can expect a return of nearly US$16 for every US$1 invested.

"Thanks to the effort and cooperation of all parties, from Dec 13, 2023 to March 21, 2024, 68,823 newborns got hearing screenings before they were 29 days old."

Dr Dzulkefly said disabled people had equal rights in society.

He said a rights-based approach and protection should be used to guarantee the interests and wellbeing of the disabled.

"In line with the Health Ministry's Strategic Plan 2021-2025, the government, especially the ministry, is committed to fostering collaboration and participation with various sectors, government agencies and non-governmental organisations in the implementation of family health activities."

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories