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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

This prospective study of neonatal hearing screening function, initiated systematically by the 2008 at the Clinical Center Kragujevac, included full-term newborns and premature born ones, within the first 24 h after birth, using a DPOAEs interacoustics otoread-screener. Retesting was done after a month. From January 1st, 2009 to December 1st, 2010, a total number of examined infants by this method was 1,994 out of which 1,778 were full-term and 216 were premature born. The test passing was higher in the group of full-term babies (92.5%) than in the preterm ones (55.1%). In Serbia, by an Act on National Program on Women, Children and Youth Health Care from April 24th 2009, a compulsory early neonatal hearing impairment screening test was introduced. Thus, the study included all newborns, those with positive test results to be controlled until hearing impairment found or excluded. Most commonly used methods are otoacoustic emission (OAE) and electrophysiological auditory brainstem response (ABR tests). Reliability of methods of OAE is estimated in the range of 80% to 98%, an automated ABR (AABR) from 84% to 90%. The program of systematic neonatal hearing function tests in the Clinical Center Kragujevac has been conducted since the late 2008. During this prospective study, from January 1st, 2009 until December 1st, 2010, 1,994 newborn infants were included out of who 1,778 were full-term and 216 premature born. The program was implemented according to a previously agreed protocol in collaboration with pediatricians-neonatologists. Full-term infants are examined in the Delivery Ward, within 24 h after birth – immediately after the delivery, during feeding and during sleep. Premature born children are examined in the Center for Premature Born Children when their general condition allowed that. Both ears are examined there by DPOAE Interacoustics OtoReadscreener, which is equipped with software algorithms for result recording and reading. Newborns with lateral or bilateral hearing impairment were scheduled for retesting in a month.


  1. Population: 7,209,764
  2. Number of Annual Births (2012 est): 110,000
  3. Birth rate: 9.13 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  4. Percent of GDP spent on health care (2011): 10.4% of GDP (2011)
  5. Percent of Health Care expenditures spent by government: 61.9% (2010)
  6. Physician density: 2.11 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
  7. Percent of newborns attended by skilled providers: 100%
  8. Infant Mortality: 6.16 deaths/1,000 live births
  9. Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write): 98%
  10. Percent of children screened for hearing loss:
  11. Incidence of permanent hearing loss among newborns:

Publications about EHDI Programs in Serbia

  1. Zivić L, Obradović S, Stojanović S, Zbiljić I, Jakovljević VL, Zivić D, Stojanović J, Laban O. Neonatal screening of hearing function by otoacustic emissions--a single center experience. Vojnosanit Pregl. 2012 Apr;69(4):340-4.
  2. Babac S, Lazić MP, Tatović M, Stojanović-Kamberović V, Ivanković Z. [Otoacoustic emissions in hearing screening in children. Vojnosanit Pregl. 2010 May;67(5):379-85.]

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