On April 26th, phase one of a national newborn hearing testing programme in Ireland will begin in Cork, with national roll-out expected by end-2012. The HSE assigned just under EUR2 million for the programme in its 2011 plan, with a view to expansion across the HSE South region at end-2011. Ireland has about 74,000 births per year, and by 2013, the HSE’s Brian Murphy believes all newborns “would be availing of a neo-natal screen”.
- Download the HSE’s National Audiology Review (April 2011) >>
UNHS means that around the child’s three-month mark, the family is better placed to begin early intervention toward the child’s language development. Unfortunately, children in Ireland with severe to profound hearing loss have to wait two years for a hearing aid, almost six times longer than in Britain. Children in Ireland with moderate hearing loss have to wait until the age of five for a hearing-aid, almost ten times longer than in Britain. Children awaiting cochlear implants also face long delays for surgery due to the lack of audiologists in Ireland, where no training facilities are in place. This month’s UNHS launch at Cork University Hospital is a move in the right direction and every step is encouraged toward the intended national roll-out. A booklet, ‘Your Baby’s Hearing Screening Test‘ explains the procedure. (compiled by Raluca Maier) Press Coverage
- National newborn hearing screening to be rolled out (Examiner, 14.4.2011)
- Deaf children not being diagnosed ’till it is too late’ (Independent, 14.4.2011)
- Children waiting up to five years for hearing-aids (The Times, 14.4.2011)
- Audiology services ‘are sub-standard’ (Irish Health.com, 14.4.2011)
– The HSE’s National Audiology Review document (April 2011)