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Paediatric hearing loss rates in Ghana are currently unknown.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in peri-urban Kumasi, Ghana; children (aged 3–15 years) were recruited from randomly selected households. Selected children underwent otoscopic examination prior to in-community pure tone screening using the portable ShoeBox audiometer. The LittlEars auditory questionnaire was also administered to caregivers and parents.
Data were collected from 387 children. After conditioning, 362 children were screened using monaural pure tones presented at 25 dB. Twenty-five children could not be conditioned to behavioural audiometric screening. Eight children were referred based on audiometric screening results. Of those, four were identified as having hearing loss. Four children scored less than the maximum mark of 35 on the LittleEars questionnaire. Of those, three had hearing loss as identified through pure tone screening. The predominant physical finding on otoscopy was ear canal cerumen impaction.
Paediatric hearing loss is prevalent in Ghana, and should be treated as a public health problem warranting further evaluation and epidemiology characterisation.
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