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Russian Federation

  • 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 1996, the Russian Ministry of Public Health Care issued regulations on the hearing screening of neonates and first-year-of-life children. These regulations have the status of a legislative act, and determine all the steps and timing of screening and the follow-up stages. The system developed as a result of this legislation includes:

  • activities aimed at educating community members and health care specialists;
  • obligatory collection of information on the risk factors for hearing loss at all maternity hospitals;
  • distribution of maternal questionnaires for evaluation of the child’s reactions to sounds;
  • behavioural screening with the use of simple devices for audiological testing at paediatric outpatient departments;
  • transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) recording at audiological centres;
  • second-stage testing of children who have failed the first screening by means of additional TEOAE and auditory brainstem response (ABR) recordings; and
  • rehabilitation of children with diagnosed hearing impairment.

In 2007–08, pilot projects were conducted in 4 regions of the Russian Federation as part of a federal programme (Children of Russia) in which universal newborn hearing screening was conducted based on TEOAE registration in maternity hospitals. The pilot projects included training programmes for audiologists, neonatologists, paediatricians and nurses.

In 2008, universal newborn hearing screening was included in the national programme Health, with federal financing available for 3 years. In 2008–09, 73% of the territory of the Russian Federation was equipped with the TEOAE units – 860 devices were placed in maternity hospitals and paediatric outpatient units. In addition, equipment for diagnostics and follow-up (including immitance meters, and diagnostic systems including ABR, ASSR, TEOAE and DPOAE) was placed in 152 audiological centres. Staff at each of these facilities were then trained in the use of this equipment. Training programmes for audiologists, neonatologists, paediatricians and nurses will now be continued permanently. In 2009, there were approximately 944 000 births in these regions (55% of all births in the Russian Federation). Around three quarters (73%) of these babies were screened. Of the 5.5% of babies who failed the screening, 55% completed diagnostic evaluations, and almost 4000 babies were identified with permanent hearing loss. It is projected that the newborn hearing screening programme will cover the whole country by the end of 2010.

Special protocols for rural and community-based screening were developed and introduced. In addition, a protocol for combining audiological and genetic screening was developed in 2009. The expected advantages of such combined screening include:

  • early intervention;
  • reduced examination time;
  • reduced test costs;
  • revealing of hereditary deafness connected with the Cх26 gene;
  • improved diagnosis of the presence or absence of other genetic mutations; and
  • provision of genetic counseling.


  • Population (2012 est): 138,082,178
  • Number of Annual Births (2012 est): 1,510,600
  • Birth rate: 10.94 per 1,000
  • Percent of GDP spent on health care (2009): 4.8%
  • Percent of Health Care expenditures spent by government: 64.3%
  • Physician density: 4.309 per 1,000
  • Percent of newborns attended by skilled providers: 100%
  • Infant Mortality: 9.88 per 1,000
  • Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write): 99.4%

Publications about EHDI Programs in Russia (maximum of 5)

  1. 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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