As we wrap up Speech and Hearing Month in Canada, it’s an ideal time to highlight the critical connection between congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) and speech and hearing development in children. This month also saw the release of a significant new report card developed by our partners at the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force (CIHTF), Speech-Language & Audiology Canada, and the Canadian Academy of Audiology underscoring the importance of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs. Check out the report card here.

Congenital CMV and Its Impact

Congenital CMV is a viral infection that can cause serious health issues, including hearing loss, which in turn affects speech and language development. Children with untreated hearing loss may face challenges in communication, social interaction, and learning. Early detection and intervention are essential to support these children’s development effectively.

New EHDI Report Card

The CIHTF released their latest EHDI report card yesterday, marking the culmination of Speech and Hearing Month. This report evaluates the effectiveness and accessibility of EHDI programs across Canadian provinces and territories, focusing on five components (universal hearing screening of all newborns, identification of babies with permanent hearing loss, support services for technology and language development, family support, and monitoring and evaluation of the program). It highlights significant disparities in service availability and emphasizes the need for universal newborn hearing screening and timely intervention. Once again, Canada receives an overall grade of “insufficient,” noting that “34% of infants in Canada do not have access to sufficient hearing health care services.”

Advocacy and Support

CMV Canada proudly endorsed this report card, advocating for comprehensive and uniform EHDI services nationwide. The CIHTF, supported by Speech-Language & Audiology Canada and the Canadian Academy of Audiology, continues to push for improvements to ensure that every Canadian child has access to essential hearing health services. In a news conference in Ottawa yesterday, the group called on the federal government to establish and implement national hearing health care guidelines for children and prioritize infant hearing healthcare. Our organizations firmly believe that every child in Canada deserves access to timely and high quality hearing health services, and that includes screening for congenital CMV! For more information, you can visit the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force website.

By recognizing the impact of congenital CMV and supporting EHDI programs, we can ensure better outcomes for children’s speech and hearing health across Canada.

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If you found this article helpful, we invite you to explore our blog, Congenital CMV Unscripted, to access a wealth of additional resources available on our website.


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