n South African Journal of Communication Disorders - Occupational Hearing loss in Africa : an interdisciplinary view of the current status - editorial

Volume 67 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0379-8046
  • E-ISSN: 2225-4765



Noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable if the collaborative stakeholders in the prevention process are fully committed to the process and implement effective measures timely. Audiologists have within their scope of practice the prevention of hearing loss and this needs to be at the forefront of all advocacy campaigns to prevent occupational hearing loss (OHL). In a systematic review by Moroe, Khoza-Shangase, Kanji and Ntlhakana (2018), where literature into the exposure to occupational noise in developing countries suggested that the prevalence of occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) is still high, significant gaps in locally relevant and responsive evidence were identified. There is also evidence that the mining industry is aware of this epidemic; however, the efforts to curb ONIHL are currently unsuccessful. These authors explored and documented current evidence reflecting trends in the management of ONIHL in the mining industry in Africa from 1994 to 2016 through the use of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis. Findings from this systematic review indicated that there is a dearth of research on the management of ONIHL in Africa. The limited research on the management of ONIHL focuses on some aspects of the hearing conservation programme pillars and not on all the pillars as suggested by some scholars in the field. Furthermore, they found that published studies had small sample sizes, thereby minimising their generalisation. This systematic review’s findings highlighted a need for more studies on the management of ONIHL in the mining sector, as evidence suggests that this condition in African countries is still on the rise; hence, there is the importance of this Special Issue, based on South Africa.

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