Isabel Varela-Nieto in the WHO World Hearing Forum

Isabel Varela-Nieto participates in the WHO World Hearing Forum stakeholders meeting

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 20% of the world's population has some type of hearing loss, and in more than 430 million people, it is disabling. To address this problem, WHO created the World Hearing Forum (WHF), a global network of non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions, dedicated to promoting ear and hearing care, reducing preventable causes of hearing loss and developing the potential of people with hearing loss.

The WHF meeting 2024 was held from November 27-29 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and brought together hearing specialists - researchers and clinicians - patient associations, as well as institutional representatives from around the world. Prof. Varela Nieto, who leads the group of Neuropathology of Hearing and Myelinopathies at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Sols-Morreale, CSIC-UAM, participated as a member of the WHF for the period 2022-2025, and had the opportunity to discuss with all attendees the importance, barriers and strategies of changing the current perception of hearing loss.

Sandra Franco Caspueñas from the Neuropathology of Hearing and Myelinopathies group, participated online in the "Changemakers" debate, presenting her personal case as a cochlear implant user, in addition to explaining the work she is doing as a predoctoral student.

The meeting also included the presentation of the World Hearing Day 2024 campaign, which will be held next March 3 and in which the research group led by Dr. Varela-Nieto is actively involved.

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