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  • 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)

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7107 islands with a population of about 89 million people. It has an annual birth rate of 2 million, which equates to 4 babies born per minute. Based on an estimated incidence in developing countries of 6 per 1000 infants with permanent congenital and early-onset hearing loss, there would be 12 000 such infants born each year in the Philippines.

The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act was signed into law in August 2009. This requires all health care practitioners to inform parents prior to delivery of the availability, procedures and benefits of hearing screening for neonates and infants 3 months of age and below. The law requires that all babies born in hospitals be screened for hearing loss before discharge, while those born outside hospitals must be screened within the first 3 months after birth. Newborn hearing screening centre or barangay health workers must refer all babies who do not pass the hearing screening for treatment at the provincial hospital of the local government unit concerned. If the treatment is beyond the clinical capability of the provincial hospital, the baby is referred to a Department of Health Tertiary Hospital. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation includes the cost of hearing screening in its benefit package. Since only 40% of babies are born in hospitals, community-based hearing screening can also be done during routine immunization, which has a coverage rate of about 90%. There are however only about 50 items of OAE equipment and 40 items of ABR equipment all over the country in those facilities where babies who do not pass the first screening can be referred. Implementation rules and regulations for the newborn hearing screening programme are currently being drafted by the stakeholders.


  • Population (2012 est): 103,775,002
  • Number of Annual Births (2012 est): 2,592,900
  • Birth rate: 24.98 per 1,000
  • Percent of GDP spent on health care (2009): 3.7%
  • Percent of Health Care expenditures spent by government: 34.7%
  • Physician density: 1.153 per 1,000
  • Percent of newborns attended by skilled providers: 62%
  • Infant Mortality: 18.75 per 1,000
  • Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write): 92.6%

Publications about EHDI Programs in the Philippines (maximum of 5)

  1. Olusanya, B.O., Swanepoel, D.W., Chapchap, M.J., Castillo, S., Habib, H. Mukari, S.Z., Martinez, N.V., Lin, H.C., and McPherson, B. 2007. Progress towards early detection services for infants with hearing loss in developing countries BMC Health Service Research 7:14.
  2. World Health Organization. 2010. Newborn and infant hearing screening- current issues and guiding principles for action. WHO Report 2010:1-39.

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