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Narrative review of EHDI in South Africa

Selvarani Moodley, Claudine Storbeck
South African Journal of Communication Disorders. die Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Kommunikasieafwykings 2015, 62 (1): E1-10
26809156

BACKGROUND: With 17 babies born with hearing loss every day in South Africa, there is a pressing need for systematic Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) services. Progress is being made in offering newborn hearing screening and studies have been conducted to document these processes within South Africa. However, due to the lack of a national and holistic overview of EHDI services to date, an accurate picture of the current status of EHDI within the South African context is required.

OBJECTIVE: To document and profile what has been published within the field of EHDI in South Africa over the last two decades (Jan 1995–Sept 2014) in order to gain a comprehensive overview of the current status and practice of screening and diagnosis in the field of paediatric hearing loss.

METHOD: A narrative review of peer-reviewed articles related to EHDI in South Africa was conducted by searching the EBSCOHOST, SCOPUS and JSTOR databases for the period January 1995 to September 2014.

RESULTS: Results indicate that over the last two decades research and publications in the field of EHDI have increased considerably. These publications have revealed extensive knowledge related to paediatric hearing screening and intervention services in South Africa; however, this knowledge seems to be limited primarily to the provinces of Gauteng and the Western Cape. Furthermore, studies pertaining to diagnosis have revealed that, although much has been written on the scientific aspects on tools for diagnosis of hearing loss, there is a lack of comprehensive information on diagnostic protocols and procedures.

CONCLUSION: Despite the clear progress being made in South Africa in the field of early hearing detection and intervention, there is a need for comprehensive studies on protocols and procedures in diagnosing paediatric hearing loss. Finally, the narrative review revealed a clear need to ensure that development and growth in the field of EHDI is a national priority and extends beyond the two provinces currently showing growth.

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