According to 2005 estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), 278 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears.
80% of deaf and hearing-impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.
The number of people worldwide with all levels of hearing impairment is rising mainly due to a growing global population and longer life expectancies.
Chronic middle ear infection is the main cause of mild to moderate hearing impairment in children.
The impact of hearing impairment on a child's speech, language, education and social integration depends on the level and type of hearing impairment, and the age of onset, especially if it begins before the age when speech normally develops.
In developing countries, fewer than 1 in 40 people who would benefit from a hearing aid have one.
Current annual production of hearing aids is estimated to meet less than 10% of global need.
50% of deafness and hearing impairment is avoidable through prevention, early diagnosis, and management.
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