Building capacity of health workers in ear and hearing care


Globally, there is shortage of highly trained ear and hearing care professionals. The majority of low- and middle-income counties have less than one ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist and one audiologist per million population.

This means that people experiencing hearing difficulties or those with common ear infections need to seek specialized care, often at distant hospitals and may lead to undue financial hardships. It also poses an excessive burden on the limited number of ENT specialists and audiologists available in countries.

To assist countries build the capacity of their health workforce to provide ear and hearing care at the community level, WHO has developed the Primary ear and hearing care training manual. It is a practical guide on the prevention, identification and management of hearing loss and common ear diseases. It can be used to train health workers and doctors who work at community level primary healthcare.

The release of the new training manual coincides with World Hearing Day (3 March) with the theme Ear and hearing care for all! Let’s make it a reality, highlighting the importance of integrating ear and hearing care within primary health as an essential component of universal health coverage.

More on the 2023 World Hearing Day campaign