By Violet Nabatanzi
Experts have warned that exposure to recreational noise poses a serious threat to hearing in adolescents and young adults.
Such exposures include the unsafe use of personal audio systems and exposure at recreational venues such as discos, clubs, bars, concerts, and sport settings, among others.
The State Minister for Primary Education, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, yesterday noted that an individual’s hearing loss can be minimised by early identification, followed by timely and appropriate interventions, especially as new solutions and technologies become available.
Her advice was contained in a speech delivered by the assistant commissioner inclusive and non-formal education, Sarah Ayesiga during the commemoration of the World Hearing Day at Nakivubo Blue Primary School in Kampala yesterday.
The day was celebrated under the theme, To Hear For Life, Listen With Care.
Earlier this week, the environment police pledged to support Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in enforcing noise ordinances, especially in Kampala.
This followed complaints from residents, especially in upscale city suburbs like Nakasero, Naguru, and Kololo to police, NEMA and KCCA, over noise pollution from bars within their vicinity.
“The environmental police continue to receive complaints of alleged noise pollution from the public. In our country, it is unlawful for any person to willfully make or continue or cause to be made any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise, which disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighbourhood or causes discomfort or annoyance to any reasonable person, of normal sensitiveness residing in the area,” noted Police spokesperson Fred Enanga.
Globally, 1.5 billion people live with hearing loss. About 430 million of them have disabling hearing loss. It is expected that by 2050, there could be over 700million people with disabling hearing loss.
About 34 million children have hearing loss, of which 60% of cases are due to preventable causes. And approximately 30% of people over 60 years of age have hearing loss.
In Uganda, the prevalence of disabling hearing impairment stands at 10.2 % in children and 11.7 % in adults.
Fiona Kamya, an audiologist at Kampala Audiology and Speech Centre, said it was necessary to detect the problem early.