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December 15, 2011

Universal hearing screening for all children in Argentina by law

Hearing screening for all newborns will be universal and obligatory under the health care system of Argentina, as a result of the Law of Hearing Impairment passed in July 2011.

Universal hearing screening for all children in Argentina by law

The national program for early detection and treatment of hearing loss in children will now ensure an exhaustive hearing screening for all newborns and an appropriate early treatment when needed. In addition, it guarantees total coverage for the first hearing aids or cochlear implants for all children diagnosed with hearing loss.

Previously, the hearing screening program was mainly conducted for newborns at risk, so that every second case passed undetected, and the treatment was free only for those children with health care assistance coverage.
The Law aims to reinforce the national program and implement coordinate actions to ensure an early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss free for all children. In Argentina, hearing loss affects up to one in 1,000 newborns.

The earlier the better

The new law was warmly received by hearing organisations and hearing health professionals in Argentina.

Experts underline the importance of a universal hearing screening program for all children. Firstly, the possibility of receiving the accurate treatment at an early age when a child suffers from hearing loss greatly increases his or her chances of improvement, and not least, it helps to avoid social exclusion.

“Prevention, early detection and obviously an adequate treatment means that the affected children will be able to develop in a natural way to use all their potential, with the same opportunities as their peers,” explains Alfredo Pallante, chairman of CONALUS, the national organisation against deafness in Argentina.

Source: www.audioprotesistas.org

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