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Newborn Hearing Screening Guide (Importance and Goals)

Newborn Hearing Screening Guide (Importance and Must-Know Info) (1)

Newborn hearing screening is important to every newborn shall be given a chance to access physiologic hearing screening examination prior to hospital discharge or at the earliest possible time for the detection of hearing loss.

Hearing loss is known to be one of the most common disabilities among newborns. Studies worldwide showed that approximately 1-4 infants per 1,000 live births are affected. There was a study conducted in a rural population in Bulacan in 2004 also revealed that 1 every 724 babies are born with bilateral severe-to-profound hearing loss. Therefore, 0.14% or 8  of the babies born daily are estimated to have profound deafness in the Philippines alone. 

Vision of DOH Philippines 

“No Filipino newborn shall be deprived of a functional sense of hearing.” –

In adherence to the Administrative Order No. 2010-0020 (Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 9709 otherwise known as the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Act of 2009), hearing screening to a newborn is a must-do after giving birth. It requires that all babies aged not more than 1 month of age should undergo screening for hearing loss.

DOH Goals

I. To implement an effective system to have all newborns undergo hearing screening and increase the proportion of infants who are screened for hearing loss within their first month of life.

II.  To identify hearing loss through audiologic evaluation among infants diagnosed with hearing loss or any other disease like cerebral palsy within six months of age.

 This program helps recognize the early detection of hearing loss experienced by the said 0.14% of newborn babies in our country.

To help us understand the importance of hearing screen on newborn babies, here are the objectives to the procedure:

  • To have all newborns undergo hearing screening prior to hospital discharge or within three months if born outside the hospital;
  • To provide an accessible, effective and efficient system of services;
  • To implement time-bound intervention: hearing screening within the first month, hearing evaluation within the third month and early intervention by the sixth month;
  • To provide the necessary services for hearing habilitation/rehabilitation;
  • To monitor the incidence and prevalence of hearing loss in the Philippines; and
  • To promote awareness and information campaigns to the public about hearing loss. 

Who executes a newborn hearing screener?

Newborn Hearing Screening is a quick procedure that checks a baby’s hearing and identifies those babies who need further testing. Babies use their hearing to learn to talk, so it’s important to identify hearing loss early. It is helpful to know how a baby hears as soon as possible.

How old do you have to be a newborn hearing screener?

Appropriate roles for SLPs in hearing screening programs for children ages 0-6 months include the following: Performing newborn hearing screenings using automated equipment in the hospital and as part of outpatient screening programs with appropriate training and oversight from the managing audiologist.

Is newborn hearing screening necessary?

All babies who do not pass the first screening should have a complete hearing test before three months of age. Finding a hearing loss early and getting into a program that helps babies with hearing loss (beginning before a baby is six months old) helps a child to: Communicate better with others. Do well in school.

Can I refuse newborn hearing test?

Exemptions. As a parent, you may refuse newborn hearing screening for your baby only if your religious beliefs and practices do not allow this testing. If you refuse to have the test done, you will be asked to sign a paper stating that you refused to have your baby tested.

Who can perform the newborn hearing screening test?

The audiologist will see your baby as soon as possible if they do not pass the follow-up hearing screen in both ears. If your baby passes the hearing screen in only 1 ear, the audiologist will see your baby at about 2 to 3 months of age, or sooner if possible. The audiologist will do a full hearing assessment.

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Newborn Hearing Screening - DOH Philippines

Purpose of the newborn hearing screening

What is Cerebral Palsy?


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