ISA in support of World Hearing Day 2023
Thais C. Morata, Ariane Laplante-Lévesque, Kurt Stephan, George Tavartkiladze, Dalia Tsimpida
Since 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) organizes World Hearing Day on 3 March “to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.” The International Society of Audiology (ISA) has contributed in various ways over the years. On November 16–17, several of us, ISA Executive Council members and committee volunteers participated of the in-person Core Committee meeting of the World Hearing Forum (https://www.who.int/activities/promoting-world-hearing-forum), at the World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters in Geneva, to review progress and coordinate joint outreach activities for hearing care and hearing loss prevention.
When raising awareness of health issues, Wikimedia platforms come to mind as a valuable source of dissemination of information, since health-related articles on Wikipedia are read more than 150 million times per month (Heilman et al., 2011). Health information in Wikipedia can be a significant and trusted resource particularly in countries where access to care is scarce (Shafee et al., 2017; NYT, 2014). A recent example is a project led by Dr. Lilian Jacob and funded by FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) in 2022, where five Brazilian universities as well as international agencies incorporated Wikipedia assignments focused on the promotion of hearing health.
For World Hearing Day 2019, the ISA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health took the lead in designing the online event Wiki4WorldHearingDay2019, to improve Wikipedia content related to hearing, hearing health services, hearing testing, and preventive and treatment interventions. Several institutions joined in the event by either promoting it or contributing content to Wikipedia articles in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. The Wikimedia outreach dashboard allows anyone to monitor contributions and reach, with a great level of detail and accuracy. Tracking took place between January 21, 2019 and March 31, 2019 and showed that 74,000 words were contributed to 90 existing and 7 new Wikipedia articles, and 21 images were donated to the open access repository WikiCommons. The articles received more than 2.8 million views during the 2- month period of the tracking (Morata and Chadha, 2019).
Given the success of Wiki4WorldHearingDay2019, two other campaigns followed: Wiki4YearOfSound2020 and now Wiki4WorldHearingDay2023. In these platforms, one may find guidance and suggestions for different levels of involvement in the campaigns. The launch of the 2023 World Hearing Day campaign took place at the office of the World Health Organization in Geneva on November 18, with presentations from Thais Morata (User:Tmorata) and Daniel Mietchen (User:Daniel Mietchen). Several ISA members expressed interest in participating. Others who were also interested in expanding content into Wikipedia were from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, England, Georgia, Greece, India, Italy, Uganda, Russia, and Zambia. Tracking of the contributions has started and will continue till the end of March 2023 at https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/World_Health_Organization/Outreach_Wikipedia_Edit-a-thon_4_World_Hearing_Day_2023. Thais Morata and Shelly Chadha (Lead Officer, WHO Program for Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss) will officially close the Wikipedia online in March 2023 at the Encontro Internacional de Audiologia, which will take place in Florianopolis, Brazil.
The theme of World Hearing Day 2023 is Ear and hearing care for all! Let’s make it a reality and participants are invited to contribute content not only specific to hearing health but also to topics of universality and equity in health care. We invite the ISA community to join in the campaign! Small contributions count! Many other ways to participate also exist. Activities are then described in the annual report of World Hearing Day activities.
The breadth and accuracy of Wikipedia coverage in medical science varies widely. We see campaigns like this as unique opportunities to make hearing content one of the better-developed areas within Wikipedia while providing quality information to everyone in the world- where they are actually looking for it.
If you have any questions please contact Thais Morata, PhD, at email@example.com.
Heilman JM, Kemmann E, Bonert M, et al. Wikipedia: a key tool for global public health promotion. J Med Internet Res. 2011;13(1):e14. Published 2011 Jan 31. doi:10.2196/jmir.1589
New York Times, 2014. Wikipedia is emerging as trusted internet source for information on Ebola. October 26, 2014. Accessed April 4, 2019.
Morata, TC., Chadha, S. Make Quality Hearing Health Information Available to All. The Hearing Journal: May 2019 - Volume 72 - Issue 5 -p 6. doi: https://10.1097/01.HJ.0000559493.29061.35
Shafee T, Masukume G, Kipersztok L, et al. Evolution of Wikipedia’s medical content: past, present and future. J Epidemiol Community Health 2017;71:1122–1129.
Professor Louise Hickson, who is recognised internationally as a leader in audiology, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to tertiary education and audiology associations.
Professor Hickson is Associate Dean (External Engagement) for the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, and has completed ground-breaking work on the effects of hearing impairment on people’s everyday lives, and strategies and interventions to help improve the uptake of hearing rehabilitation.
“I feel incredibly honoured to receive this award,” Professor Hickson said.
“Hearing loss affects one in six people and the consequences of untreated hearing loss are severe, affecting people’s ability to communicate and connect with those around them.
“My work with so many audiology associations has been about advocating for the needs of people with hearing loss and working with them to alleviate the impacts of the condition.”
Professor Hickson was also recently appointed as the new President of the International Society of Audiology.
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