The Role of Immunisation in the Prevention of Hearing Loss

WHO estimates that about 60% of hearing loss in children under 15 years of age is preventable. Over 30% of childhood hearing loss is caused by diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella meningitis and ear infections. These can be prevented through immunization and good hygiene practices. Another 17% of childhood hearing loss results from complications at birth, including prematurity, low birth weight, birth asphyxia and neonatal jaundice. Improved maternal and child health practices would help to prevent these complications. The use of ototoxic medicines in expectant mothers and newborns, which is responsible for 4% of childhood hearing loss, could potentially be avoided.