The conference on early detection and diagnosis of hearing disorders in newborns, pre-school and school-age children, in adults and elderly people, took place on 5-9 June 2012, in Cernobbio, Lake Como, Italy. The NHS&AHS2012 conference gathered over 550 representatives of 60 countries – specialists in audiology, otolaryngology, communication disorders, neurology, psychology, genetics, biology, epidemiology, health care and engineering. The representatives of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing (IFPS) arrived to Cernobbio with seven presentations.
Several debates took place during the conference, among others on validity of hearing screening programs in children of different age groups, and the experiences of some countries in this fields were presented. The program included also the presentations of the results of hearing disorders treatment with novel cochlear implants, hearing aids and various types of therapy and rehabilitation for communication disorders. A part of the conference regarding the issue of hearing disorders in adults was conducted within the AHEAD III project (Assessment of Hearing in the Elderly: Aging and Degeneration – Integration through Immediate Intervention), co-financed from the European Commission funds.
Among the presentations, the IFPS’s representative has a speech on the achievements of the IFPS’s team during Polish Presidency of the EU Council due to the realization of the public health priority in the aspect of equal opportunities for children with communication disorders in European countries. As the result of the work of the team coordinated by Prof. H. Skarżyński, the “EU Council Conclusions on early detection and treatment of communication disorders in children, including the use of e-health tools and innovative solutions” was adopted in the end of the Presidency period. This is a first international document presenting the problem of communication disorders in children, accepted at the political level. This is a document the European society of audiologists and otolaryngologists can refer to while acting at the national level.
During the conference in Cernobbio, with the participation of the representatives of IFPS, the meeting of EFAS Working Group on School Hearing Screening was held. The Working Group has been established within the European Federation of Audiology Societies (EFAS), the organization associating experts from 34 countries. The Working Group constitute seven appointed experts and the idea of bringing such a group into being came together with the endorsement of the European Consensus Statement on Hearing Screening in Pre-school and School-age Children, in Warsaw, on 22 June 2011, at the invitation of Prof. H. Skarżyński.
The words of appreciation for the achievements of Polish team during Polish Presidency of the EU Council were spoken by EFAS President, Prof. Kurt Stephan, during the General Assembly of the European Federation of Audiology Societies in Cernobbio.
The presentations of the IFPS’s team at the NHS&AHS 2012 conference in Cernobio: