Determinants of hearing loss and its effect on the academic performance of Junior High School Students’ in Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai District of Ghana

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JUNE, 2016
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The study was aimed at assessing the determinants of hearing loss and its effects on students’ academic performance. School based cross-sectional hearing function using screening Audiometer. Simple random and systematic sampling techniques were used to select 400 learners. Data were gathered through the use of questionnaires, physical examination, audiometry and documentation. Data Entry Screens were developed in EXCEL for Data Entry. This applied to the quantitative data collected. The study discovered that, prevalence rate of hearing loss among respondents was high with 31% right ear loss ,26% left loss and 19.5% having either unilateral and bilateral hearing loss. It was revealed that exposure to excessive sounds or noise, reddened and painful ear, itching ear infections, primary school attended and students’ educational level were determinants of hearing loss. Subsequently, teachers’ assessment of their children’s hearing revealed that one cannot rely on what children and teachers say regarding their hearing status. Slight hearing impairment cannot be detected by another person but by the use of audiometer. It also revealed that children with hearing loss were 1.63 times more likely to be graded poor to average academically by their teachers, than normal hearing students. This was however shown to be statistically insignificant. In conclusion, hearing loss prevalent rate among respondents was high. Hearing loss was by acquired causes. The study recommended that, parents and children should be educated about the harm in prolonged noise exposure and poorly treated otitis media infections. Hearing assessment should be made part of the school health program me in addition to external ear physical examination done. Health directorate in the district must effectively monitor and evaluate hearing loss mitigation programmes in order to ascertain its success and challenges in order to provide the requisite support when and where needed.
A thesis submitted to The Department of Health Promotion and Education College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health in Health Education and Promotion.