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Addressing the rising prevalence of hearing loss

February 2018

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Hearing loss is the fourth highest cause of disability globally, with an estimated annual cost of over 750 billion dollars. These facts are well known and have contributed to growing global consciousness on the need for accessible hearing care in all regions of the world. Looking forward however, the demand for hearing care is likely to grow significantly in coming decades. This report highlights the potential escalation of hearing loss to the middle of the century, and focusses on the factors responsible for hearing loss and the means to address them. 

WHO estimates in 2008 found that 360 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss, including 32 million children and 180 million older adults. The most recent estimations place this figure at over 466 million people with disabling hearing loss in 2018. The main areas of the world affected by disabling hearing loss are the South Asian, Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan African regions, with a prevalence rate almost four times that of the high income regions.


Measures to address these concerns deal with: prevention of infections in mothers and babies; chronic ear infections; noise exposure; and ototoxic hearing loss.


Public health aspects are highlighted. 

Challenges in global Indigenous–Disability comparative research, or, why nation-state political histories matter

KERMIT, Patrick

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Globally, Indigenous people, also known as First Peoples, have the poorest health outcomes of all population groups, resulting in significantly higher rates of chronic disease, ill-health, and disability. Recent research strongly suggests that Australian First Peoples and the Sami peoples of the Nordic region are positioned at opposite ends of the disability–health spectrum. Australia’s First Peoples, now experience the highest rates of disability in the nation’s recorded history, despite the significant government investment over recent decades in national Indigenous policy. Yet, Nordic Indigenous populations appear to have similar health outcomes and living conditions as the rest of the population in the region. In this paper, we compare some of the global assumptions of the two leading countries of the United Nations Human Development Index– Norway (ranked first) and Australia (ranked second)– and examine the ways in which such rankings act to hide the disparities of life trajectories and outcomes for Indigenous persons living with disability compared to the rest of the population in each country. The findings of the comparative analysis illustrate core areas for consideration when undertaking in-depth comparative research with First Nation’s peoples. This includes issues surrounding the differentiated political significance of national population data systems for local Indigenous peoples in their struggles for recognition, and the nuanced processes of population data categorisation that are developed as a result of First Nation’s localised struggles for recognition, respect and rights under processes of European colonisation.


Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2, 1450-1471 

Global AgeWatch Insights. The right to health for older people, the right to be counted

ALBONE, Rachel
et al

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This report considers the progress being made to achieve older people's right to health amid the global drive towards universal health coverage. It explores how older people are currently accessing health services and what changes need to be made to improve on this. It considers the role of data in driving and informing changes to health systems and the services they deliver. Data must be collected with and about older people to ensure adequate evidence for service design and delivery that is targeted and appropriate. This report explores the adequacy of current data systems and collection mechanisms and how, alongside health systems, they must be adapted in an ageing world. 


This report is supported by 12 country profiles (for Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Myanmar, Pakistan, Serbia, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe; see Appendix 1). These provide national information on trends in the physical and mental health status of older people, and population-level information on access to UHC. The profiles are supplemented by data mapping, showing the national data available on older people’s health in the 12 profile countries, and revealing the data gaps. The data mapping results are available at

Health research for development initiative in Vietnam (HRDI ): impact evaluation results

WILLIAMS, Katherine
December 2009

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This evaluation report provides information about building health research capacity in Vietnam between 2004 and 2009. The Population Council Vietnam partnered with the Hanoi School of Public Health and Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty of Public Health to enahnce research skills, provide competitive awards and develop a network to link fellows to various national and international institutes and conferences. This report is useful to health and development practitioners interested in building health research capacity Vietnam

How can donors help build global public goods in health?

DAS GUPTA, Monica GOSTIN, Lawrence
April 2009

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"Aid to developing countries has largely neglected the population-wide health services that are core to communicable disease control in the developed world. These mostly non-clinical services generate 'pure public goods' by reducing everyone’s exposure to disease through measures such as implementing health and sanitary regulations. They complement the clinical preventive and treatment services which are the donors’ main focus...Donors need greater clarity about what constitutes a strong public health system, and how to build them. The paper discusses gaps in donors’ approaches and first steps toward closing them"

She sweet up the boopsy and him nuh get nuh wine : young women and sexual relationships in Kingston, Jamaica

et al
July 2007

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This report presents findings from a qualitative study into the sexual relationships of young women (aged 15-24) in inner-city Kingston, Jamaica. The study explores the social and economic environment in which young women’s relationships take place; identifies opportunities and barriers to behaviour change; and generates insights into condom use, HIV risk perceptions and types of sexual relationships

Tonga national disability identification survey 2006

TAYLOR, Dimity
March 2006

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This survey identifies the prevalence of disability among the population of Tonga; the main causes of disability; the extent to which people with disabilities are able to participate in the community, education and employment sectors and the needs of people with disabilities. A list of recommendations for creating a more inclusive society focuses on government policy and direction, legislation, various government departments and ministries, women's development, the police, national organisations and NGOs, churches, sport and the media. It was conducted on behalf of DACTION - the Tonga Disability Action Committee, and the Tonga Red Cross Society. Executive summary also available in Tongan

First national study of disability in Chile

May 2005

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Using the international classification of disability (ICF), this report presents information about the "prevalence of disability in its different types and degrees, and the extent in which this condition affects individuals in various aspects of their lives." The reports covers variables such as health conditions and socioeconomic and sociodemographic characteristics. This report is useful to anyone interested in disability in Chile

Taru - India


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This article explores a radio soap drama which began airing Bihar, India, in February, 2002. In addition to other goals, it was designed to promote small family size and HIV/AIDS prevention. The project is a collaborative effort of Population Communications International (PCI), an international NGO that works with in-country partners to promote sexual and reproductive health and sustainable development through entertainment-education; Janani, an NGO providing reproductive health care in the Indian states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; All India Radio, the Indian national radio network and Ohio University, who designed and conducted independent monitoring and evaluation of the programme. The combination of partners in methodology, service delivery, scriptwriting, broadcast, research and evaluation, contribute to the programme's design and potential strength

Guide to European population assistance


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"In serving governmental and non-governmental institutions world-wide, the Guide to European Population Assistance is intended to be a valuable resource for grant-seekers, as it provides a source of detailed and annually updated information on the variety of public funding in Europe, one of the important donor regions globally. "Each of the 34 entries gives contact information, a statement on the organisation's/institution's purpose and mission, a review of financial information and, most importantly, detailed information about how to put in a proposal and how to apply for funding. "The data of the different institutions are as recent as 2003. Although its structure follows a uniform format, the institution profiles are taken from information released by the listed institutions themselves. Input from national ICPD-NGOs has been added to the profiles. "Throughout the Guide, profiles are in a common format, which may vary slightly from one institution to another. For each listed country, a short history and summary is given about its mission statement, fields of activity and organisational structure."

Impact of HIV/AIDS : a population and development perspective


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This publication examines the links between poverty and HIV, the impact of HIV on population and development, mechanisms for carrying out HIV impact assessments and the use of impact assessments in advocacy, programme design and poverty reduction strategies

M/MC health communication materials database


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Online database of international health education materials collected by Media/Material Clearinghouse. Topics include reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS and STDs, development and population. Searchable by type of material, region/country, language, producer and subject area



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