ICED Hearing Group

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The Hearing Group is part of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London.

The challenge?

  • Hearing loss affects over 1.3 billion people worldwide of which, 360 million people have disabling hearing loss [Ref:1, 2]
  • 60% of childhood hearing loss is preventable (Ref:2)
  • 90% of people with disabling hearing loss live in low & middle income countries (Ref:3)
  • Hearing loss negatively impacts on speech and language, activities of daily living such as employment and education, economic status, mental health and quality of life (Ref:4, 5)

What is our purpose?

The aim of the Hearing Group is to raise awareness, promote research and support education in ear and hearing health.

Who are we?

This multi-disciplinary team comprises of specialist and experienced academics, clinicians, research students and centre staff. We all share a common interest in ear and hearing health.

Hearing Aid Image

What do we do?

  • Organise seminars, advocacy workshops and promotional events
  • Deliver education and training programmes
  • Provide professional guidance & support to community projects
  • Conduct research on hearing impairment prevalence, impact and access to services within low and middle income countries
  • Network and collaborate with local and internationally based professional bodies, educational institutions and NGO’s

Our Latest Research

  • Building evidence about the prevalence of hearing impairment in low and middle income countries, including surveys of Guatemala, India and Cameroon.
  • Exploring barriers to accessing ear and hearing services and the provision of training for community health workers in Malawi
  • Assessing the impact of hearing impairment and the provision of hearing aids on socio-economic status (poverty), mental health, quality of life and activity participation in Guatemala. Read the full report here.

Guatemala Hearing Research Report - Cover

Our Teaching

We currently run an international, classroom-based educational programme in ‘Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment’ which incorporates an online community support network for alumni.  This course aims to build capacity for public health knowledge and skills in ear and hearing health (EHH) amongst clinicians and health planners. Since 2009, we have trained 715 health workers from 41 different countries and delivered 25 programmes in 9 locations around the world including, Europe, Asia, Africa and North & South America.

The Global Disability and Health MSc Module teaches about the broader aspects of disability and includes a series of lectures and workshops on hearing impairment.

2018 Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment Programme Schedule

  • March: Sydney, Australia
  • May: B.C., Canada
  • June: Nairobi, Kenya
  • July: Harare, Zimbabwe
  • September: Hyderabad, India
  • December: Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Additional Courses in Manila, Philippines and Lusaka, Zambia are to be confirmed

Our Journal

The Community Ear and Hearing Health Journal (CEHHJ) is a free publication which aims to promote ear and hearing health in low-middle income countries, by facilitating continuing education for all levels of ear and hearing Health Worker. We publish the journal in English, French and Spanish, sending 3,400 copies of the journal to 181 countries.

Common ear conditions underdiagnosed at primary level

Current issue and archives of the English, French and Spanish editions can be found here.

Our Publications 

Smith, A. (2017) ‘Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment’, ENT & Audiology News, November-December 2017, Volume 26, No. 5.  Read Here

Contact Us

If you have a general enquiry or wish to learn more about our work, please contact a member of our team:

Name Title E-Mail
Hannah Kuper Director of ICED & Professor
Andrew Smith Professor
Daksha Patel E-learning Director for International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH)
Islay Mactaggart Research Fellow
Tess Bright Audiologist & Research Assistant
Joanna Jeremy Hearing Health Administrator
Mark Spreckley Dr Public Health Research Student


1. Vos T, Allen C, Arora M, Barber RM, Bhutta ZA, Brown A, et al. (2016) Global, Regional, and National Incidence, Prevalence, and Years Lived with Disability for 310 Diseases and Injuries, 1990-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet. 2016;388(10053):1545–602

2. WHO. (2017) Deafness & Hearing Loss Fact Sheet, Geneva, Updated February 2017:

3. Stevens. G, et al. (2011) Global and Regional Hearing Impairment Prevalence: An Analysis of 42 Studies in 29 Countries. European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 23, No. 1, 146–152

4. Arlinger S. (2003) Negative Consequences of Uncorrected Hearing Loss – a Review. Int J Audiol. 2003;42(2):S17–20.  

5. Davis A, McMahon CM, Pichora-Fuller KM, Russ S, Lin F, Olusanya BO, et al. (2016) Aging and Hearing Health: The Life-Course Approach. Gerontologist. 2016;56:S256–67.  

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