Background - (From South Australia)
With technologies for newborn hearing screening in regular use internationally by the mid 1990s, a lack of such programs in Australia continued to result in a delay in the detection of hearing loss until later stages of infant development.
An article from Deaf Children Australia and Aussie Deaf Kids ( Ann Porter )
While an infant hearing screening program was operating in Victoria from 1992, this program focused on providing detection and intervention strategies for high risk infants before the age of one year, rather than universal hearing screening services at birth.
Western Australia was the first Australian state to trial universal newborn hearing screening, gradually introducing screening services across maternity hospitals in Perth in 2000.
South Australia commenced its pilot program in August 2002 across three metropolitan hospitals and two country hospitals, establishing protocols for a statewide Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening Program (UNHS).
A National Newborn Hearing Screening Committee was formed in 2004 to lobby the Commonwealth Government for permanent newborn hearing screening programs to be implemented across Australia, and in the same year the South Australian Minister for Health announced that the UNHS Program would be permanently funded and implemented across the state by the end of 2005.
Funding was secured to provide:
training for hospital midwives and community nurses
an audiologist to travel statewide
a statewide database
ongoing support for all agencies involved.
A statewide rollout of the UNHS Program was completed in February 2006, incorporating the 33 birthing and 12 non-birthing hospitals in South Australia. Newborn hearing screening programs facilitating early assessment and management of neonatal hearing loss are now in various stages of development and implementation across all Australian states and territories.
You find also attached a report from the Victorian Infant Screening Program.
Stephanie and Karen
Street: 597 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004
Postal: PO Box 6466, St Kilda Road Central, Melbourne, VIC 8008
Web : www.deafchildrenaustralia.org.au
information gathered by Ann Porter from Aussie Deaf Kids for UNAPEDA
We do have newborn screening in a number of States in Australia now. I have sent you the links to their websites where you can find out more about what is happening.
Queensland www.health.qld.gov.au/townsville/Services/healthy_hearing.asp(98% of babies screened before leaving hospital)
New South Wales www.health.nsw.gov.au/hearing/statewide.html and the information booklet for families
www.health.nsw.gov.au/pubs/2007/hearing_baby_a4.html (95% of babies are now screened before leaving hospital)
Victoria : www.rch.org.au/vihsp/index.cfm?doc_id=7461(around 30% of babies being screened at this stage)
There are also screening programs in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia now.
Aussie Deaf Kids