Calls for Manitoba to speed up universal hearing screening for newborns
Alesia Fieldberg, CTV Winnipeg
Published Tuesday, May 13, 2014 1:09PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:18AM CST
Last year, Manitoba passed legislation for universal hearing screening for newborns, but scheduled that to start in 2016.
Conservative Leanne Rowat wants that gap eliminated.
"We have - not only caregivers - but we have (also) families also concerned that it won’t be implemented for two years,” said Rowat.
Every year, approximately three in 1,000 babies are born in Manitoba with hearing loss that could greatly affect their education and social development, said health officials.
Audiologist Andrea Richardson-Lipon said the screening involves a simple test that public health nurses can add to their newborn visit checklist. She thinks it could be introduced quite quickly.
"We don't need to re-invent the wheel. We can use other province's model,” she said.
Parent Michael Link says accidentally detecting major hearing loss in their daughter as an infant allowed them to take necessary steps to ensure she had the help she needed. With that support Erin, now nine years old, thrives in school.
Parent Charna Humeny said her five-year-old son Logan has the speech development of a two-year-old because of late detection. She wonders how many other kids will fall through the cracks before universal screening begins in the province.