Ministry, commission launch campaign to prevent hearing impairment

To raise public awareness about the importance of slowing the increasing rate of deafness and hearing impairment cases in the country, the Ministry of Health and the National Commission on the Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Impairment have inaugurated March 3 as the country’s Ear and Hearing Appreciation Day.

Commission chief Damayanti Soetjipto said Wednesday such a campaign was pressing since many people were unaware of the implications of deafness and how it starts.

“According to some studies, an iPod, for example, could be harmful to its user if they often listen to the music through earphones at more than 80 decibels, which is equal to 60 percent of the [maximum] volume,” Damayanti said during the launch of the campaign.

“The effect may not be direct but after five or 10 years the users will start finding their hearing deteriorating.”

According to Damayanti, the Ministry of Health have also asked 33 atate hospitals across the country to run free ear and hearing check-ups for the public within the month to introduce the newly-inaugurated National Day.

In 2005, the World Health Organization recorded that 250 million of the world population suffered from deafness or hearing impairment, with around a half of them living in Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia.