Costa Rica

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Costa Rica

  • Percent of children screened for hearing loss:
  • Incidence of permanent hearing loss among newborns:

Current Status of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention for Children (500 word limit)

In cooperation with the Costa Rican Social Security Administration, the Ministry of Health, the U.S National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM), and the University of Fontbone, Costa Rica is working toward implementing an EHDI program (Detección e Intervención Temprana de la Sordera (DITS)). The primary goal of this program is to establish UNHS in all hospitals and birthing centers throughout Costa Rica. Currently, a pilot hearing screening program is being planned for five major birthing hospitals in the city of San José. In 2007, a non-governmental organization (Asociación para la Detección e Intervención de la Sordera or A.D.I.S) was created to assist in the planning and development of the program, which includes having an educational center specializing in auditory-verbal or oral communication, and training (Muñoz, Malek, Cooper, & Shisler, 2007). This organization is currently identifying funds to create this center and also provide scholarships for students seeking an AuD or Masters in Deaf Education. In 2008, the proposal for NHS was officially accepted by the Costa Rican Social Security Administration, and they are now in the budget approval phase. It can reportedly take several months after budget approval before funds are available to purchase hearing screening equipment.


  • Population (2012 est): 4,500,000
  • Number of Annual Births (2012 est): 80,000
  • Birth rate: 16.4 per 1,000
  • Percent of GDP spent on health care (2009): 9.4%
  • Percent of Health Care expenditures spent by government: 66.9%
  • Physician density: 1.32 per 1,000
  • Percent of newborns attended by skilled providers: 99%
  • Infant Mortality: 9.2 per 1,000
  • Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write): 94.9%

Publications about EHDI Programs in Costa Rica (maximum of 5)

  1. Muñoz, K., Malek, S., Cooper, L., & Shisler, S. (2007). Costa Rica and the United States Collaborate on EDHI Initiative. Volta Voices 14(6), 22-25. (PDF) Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  2. Gerner de Garcia, B., Gaffney, C., Chacon, S., and Gaffney, M. 2011. Overview of newborn hearing screening activities in Latin America. Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica. 29 (3):145-152.

Person responsible for most recent update:

Name: Sebastian Malek