By Angelos Anastasiou
One in five people in Cyprus exhibit signs of hearing loss, nonprofit REACTION Youth for the Prevention said yesterday.
The organisation presented the findings of a nationwide survey on hearing levels among drivers and other sensitive groups of society.
The survey was carried out as part of the organisation’s ‘Apollo’ Public and Personal Health Programme, in parallel with the 2nd Pancyprian Information Campaign.
It said announced that 20.6 per cent of 373 volunteers failed the diagnostic hearing test, indicating loss of hearing in one or both ears.
The statistics project that by 2015, some 1.1 billion people globally will suffer at least some hearing impairment, of whom 128,000 will be Cypriots.
Among the 373 volunteers, 278 were drivers, of whom 71.6 per cent were over 35 years of age. Drivers exhibited at least some hearing loss in 14.7 per cent of cases, whereas 37.8 per cent of 95 non-drivers failed the diagnostic hearing test.
Paphos ranked last among cities in successfully completed hearing tests, tallying failures of 19 per cent, while Nicosia did marginally better at second-to-last with 14.9 per cent. The lowest test failure score was recorded in Limassol, where only 9 per cent of those surveyed failed the test.
The campaign was carried out from November 2013 to January 2014 in collaboration with the police traffic department, consisting of voluntary tests and informative traffic checks in highways and central urban locations.
Addressing the event, transport minister Tassos Mitsopoulos linked REACTION Youth for the Prevention’s efforts with road safety, arguing that “the most important and complex factor involved in road crashes was the human factor.”
“Informing and sensitising the public to the issues of hearing deficits will further improve road safety,” Mitsopoulos said.
He went on to extend his appreciation at the organisation’s alliance with the police, which was “especially fruitful” during the past year.
“The number of fatal road crashes in 2013 was down by 19.6 per cent, and the number of fatalities decreased by 13.7 per cent, with seven fewer deaths than the previous year.”
Mitsopoulos concluded by congratulating and thanking REACTION Youth for the Prevention for organizing the campaign, and their general contribution to road safety in Cyprus.