臺大外語教學暨資源中心英語學習報第 405 期 發行日期 2021-04-01

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One in Four People Will Have Hearing Problems by 2050, WHO Says


One in four of the world's population will suffer from hearing problems by 2050, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, calling for extra investment in prevention and treatment.

世界衛生組織(World Health Organization)週二(編按:2021 年 3 月 2 日)警告,到了2050 年,全球將有四分之一的人口面臨聽力問題,呼籲當局要在預防及治療上做出額外的投資。


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One in Four People Will Have Hearing Problems by 2050, WHO Says
VOA News|Science & Health
March 2, 2021 04:11 AM (source)

One in Four People Will Have Hearing Problems by 2050, WHO Says

WHO:2050年全球 1/4 人口有聽力問題

March 2, 2021 04:11 AM

Agence France-Presse

  VOA News 搶先看 

全球首份聽力報告指出,目前全世界每 5 人就有 1 人患有聽力問題,未來 30 年,聽力喪失人數恐增加超過 1.5 倍,從 2019 年的 16 億攀升至 25 億。針對此問題,報告提出一系列的改善措施,像是降低公共空間的噪音、增加腦膜炎的接種比率,然而,若不妥善處理,每年將因此損失 1 兆美元。報告提到,造成聽力問題最主要的原因是缺乏照護,有將近 80% 失聰人士居住在低收入國家,而無法獲得專業的醫療協助。

One in four of the world's population will suffer from hearing problems by 2050, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, calling for extra investment in prevention and treatment.

The first-ever global report on hearing said that the causes of many of the problems -- such as infections, diseases, birth defects, noise exposure and lifestyle choices -- could be prevented.

The report proposed a package of measures, which it calculated would cost .33 per person per year.

Against that, it set the figure of nearly trillion lost every year because the issue was not being properly addressed.

"Failure to act will be costly in terms of the health and well-being of those affected, and the financial losses arising from their exclusion from communication, education and employment," said the report.

One in five people worldwide have hearing problems currently, it said.

But the report warned: "The number of people with hearing loss may increase more than 1.5-fold during the next three decades" to 2.5 billion people -- up from 1.6 billion in 2019.

Of the 2.5 billion, 700 million would in 2050 have a serious enough condition to require some kind of treatment, it added -- up from 430 million in 2019.

Much of the expected rise is the result of demographic and population trends, it added.

Poor access to treatment

A major contributor to hearing problems is a lack of access to care, which is particularly striking in low-income countries where there are far fewer professionals available to treat them.

Since nearly 80% of people with hearing loss live in such countries, most are not getting the help they need.

Even in richer countries with better facilities, access to care is often uneven, the report said.

And a lack of accurate information and the stigma surrounding ear disease and hearing loss also prevents people getting the care they need.

"Even among health-care providers, knowledge relevant to prevention, early identification and management of hearing loss and ear diseases is commonly lacking," it noted.

The report proposed a package of measures, including public health initiatives from reducing noise in public spaces to increasing vaccinations for diseases such as meningitis that can cause hearing loss.

It also recommended systematic screening to identify the problem at key points in people's lives.

Among children, it said, hearing loss could be prevented in 60% of cases.

"An estimated 1 trillion U.S. dollars is lost each year due to our collective failure to adequately address hearing loss," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the report.

"While the financial burden is enormous, what cannot be quantified is the distress caused by the loss of communication, education and social interaction that accompanies unaddressed hearing loss."

Language Notes

註 1: birth defects 指「新生兒先天性缺陷」的意思

註 2: -fold 於本文指「. . . . . . 倍」;本字也常指「由 . . . . . . 部分組成」

註 3: demographic 指「人口的」的意思

註 4: stigma  指「恥辱」的意思;本字也常指「(尤指不公正的)惡名」

註 5: meningitis 指「腦脊膜炎」的意思



Check your comprehension!

Choose the BEST answer to each of the questions below. After you finish, highlight the parentheses to reveal the hidden answers.

1. ( A ) What is the purpose of the passage?
            (A) To alert people to the threat from hearing loss    
            (B) To recall diseases causing hearing loss in human history
            (C) To trigger the next global public health crisis   
            (D) To give some sound advice for your ears 
2. ( D ) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about the people with hearing loss?
            (A) Their population is not affected by the demographic trend.  
            (B) Their population will remain fairly constant within 30 years.                                                                         
            (C) They get fully fair access to care in developed countries.  
            (D) They have a lack of access to care in low-income countries.
3. ( B ) The word "striking" in paragraph 10 is closest in meaning to
            (A) reliable    
            (B) noticeable                                 
            (C) convincing  
            (D) violent               

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