Newborns to be screened for hearing loss at Humboldt hospital

HUMBOLDT — Babies born at the Humboldt District Hospital will now screened for early signs of hearing loss.

A spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Health Authority said the screening equipment is in place and the staff were trained on its use in March.

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The Humboldt hospital is one of 18 that regularly delivers babies. All 18 have received screening equipment as part of a province-wide universal newborn hearing screening program. Funding of $523,000 was provided in last year’s provincial budget for the program.

“This investment will ensure that children born in Saskatchewan with hearing loss are identified, so the proper supports can be put into place to help those children succeed,” said Jim Reiter, the province’s health minister, in a media release.

Nairn Gillies, the executive director of the Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service, said the program was a huge win for the province.

“Early identification of deaf and hard of hearing children is key in eliminating debilitating linguistic delays,” he said. “Universal newborn hearing screening is a critical step toward empowering parents to engage with their newborns with hearing loss in a much more timely and informed manner.”

Other communities that offer the program include Melfort and Nipawin.

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