More than 900 infants diagnosed with hearing problems last year, says Dr Dzulkefly

CYBERJAYA: A total of 987 out of 253,822 infants screened under the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) programme in the country in 2023 were diagnosed with hearing problems, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

"From Dec 13, 2023, to March 21, 2024, a total of 68,823 newborns have successfully undergone hearing screening before reaching 29 days old,” he said.

Dzulkefly said that through the 2024 Budget, RM130mil has been allocated to improve disease prevention activities.

"This allocation also includes the newborn hearing screening programme,” he said.

He added that the Health Ministry, as the Secretariat for the Medical Assistance Fund, would consider applications from Malaysian citizens, including government retirees or civil servants' family members, to acquire hearing aids or cochlear implant surgeries.

He said that 272 units of cochlear implant surgeries at the cost of approximately RM21mil were performed under the Health Ministry Cochlear Implant Programme from 2019 to 2023. – Bernama

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