Implementing the New WHO Guidelines for the Early Detection of Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Newborns and Infants in Nigeria
This brief educational update examines the key recommendations in the new report of the World Health Organisation on newborn and infant hearing screening within the Nigerian context. While acknowledging the goal of universal newborn hearing screening as desirable, the authors highlight the need for all tertiary hospitals in the country to be appropriately equipped to provide at the minimum early hearing detection services for all high-risk newborns including those delivered by consanguineous parents, those with maternal hypertensive disorders, nonelective caesarean section and unskilled birth attendants. In addition to conventional risk factors for infant hearing loss, microcephalic and undernourished infants should be tested based on evidence from local pilot studies. Primary and secondary-level hospitals should maintain an active referral system to the tertiary centres within a multidisciplinary framework to assure the best of care for the affected infants.