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$7.5 million funding boost for hearing health research

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The Australian Government has announced close to $7.5 million in funding to support research that will help prevent hearing loss and improve the health and well-being of those people who live with hearing impairment.

Nine projects have been funded, including a number of projects focused on improving access to hearing health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Researchers at Flinders University will codesign culturally appropriate methods to overcome difficulties experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children accessing hearing healthcare.

At Curtin University, researchers that will provide the first estimates of the number of Aboriginal children who have ear infections and hearing loss from 0 to 5 years of age and will demonstrate the feasibility of screening for ear infections and hearing loss from 2 months of age.

The grants are funded for three years through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Targeted Call for Research into Hearing Health 2021: Evidence-based support services.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said, “This funding will support evidence-based research that will improve access to health care to prevent hearing loss and improve the lives of those with hearing impairment.”

“We want to ensure that all Australians have access to appropriate health care, to prevent hearing loss and help those with hearing impairment remain healthy and active,” Minister Butler said.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said, “Research projects such as those funded today will do more than address hearing. The research projects will deliver practical improvements through access to healthcare, technological innovations and social support.”

“Targeted Calls for Research through NHMRC are an important way to address specific health issues experienced in the community and produce outcomes that can be translated in health care services to improve the quality of life for all Australians,” Professor Kelso said.

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