Free hearing tests for babies born in both public and private hospitals will be up and running later this month, the health ministry announced on Monday.
The tests, which will be provided free of charge to all infants over three days old regardless of whether they were born in public or private hospitals, will be taking place at public hospitals in all districts.
Audiologists and specially trained health visitors will be carrying out the tests following appointments.
The procedure is simple and lasts only a few minutes, the ministry said.
“It is also harmless and completely painless,” it said. The findings will be given to parents or guardians the same time.
The ministry said the tests provide early diagnosis and the opportunity to deal immediately with a hearing problem.
“This is very important for the normal development of a child,” the ministry said.
Where a hearing problem is detected, the child will be referred to the specialised team of the ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinic at the Nicosia general hospital for assessment. The team will confirm the diagnosis, and prepare a personal progarmme for the child to monitor their progress.
The health ministry said it considers this programme very important and called on health professionals and parents to cooperate.
The programme will be launched on June 24.
For appointments, parents may call 17001.