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The symposium

French-Brazilian Symposium on hearing: Public Health Challenges
International Workshop: From hearing loss detection to early intervention.

To bridge the gap between universal neonatal screening of hearing loss and early intervention is a public-health challenge for several reasons that this Congress will aim to address. The first issue is the detection of late-onset sensorineural hearing loss in babies in the first years of age. A second issue is the diagnosis of less frequent forms of impairment with temporal, rather than spectral disorders (auditory neuropathy spectrum disorders) for which the intervention must be nonconventional. It will be emphasized why the intervention itself must occur as early as possible once the diagnosis is established, and preferably be bilateral. These requirements raise economical and ultimately political concerns, those of overtaxing the existing human and financial resources even in the richest countries. On the other hand, delayed or improper intervention induces huge protracted financial problems in relation to the indirect cost generated by persisting handicaps. Current figures for cochlear implantation, for example, show that, with around 10 cochlear implants / million inhabitants in Brazil, as against 60 / million in the USA and Western Europe, there is still a wide margin for improving the universality of early intervention.

The goal of this congress is to provide the audience with international consensus, evidence and tools for convincing their governing bodies of the advantages, both for the patient and the State, of a speedy transition from early diagnosis to intervention, using cost-effective protocols.