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NCHAM: National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, Utah State University

Last Updated: 1/15/10


  • Population (mid-2008)(1): 195.1 millions
  • Annual # of births (2007)(2): 3,706,000
  • Institutional births (2000/7)(2): 97%
  • GNI PPP per Capita (US$) 2007(1): 9,370
  • Infant Mortality rate(1): 24
a map of Latin America

Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Contact:

Email Monica Chap Chap

NHS Legislation:

Several states around the country have already passed legislation to implement UNHS in birthing facilities. However, many barriers are reported to be preventing the successful implementation of the law, such as inadequate funding for the necessary equipment and lack of sufficient trained personnel to staff NHS programs. It is likely that the adoption of NHS will be gradual and varied in different areas of the country. It might not be possible in the short term to use a uniform protocol across states or regions. Some regions might adopt a universal screening policy while others may need to begin by screening only those babies identified as high risk. Much depends on the availability of equipment and competent personnel, as well as the capacity to provide services to infants identified with hearing loss (Bevilacqua, 2008).

In São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, NHS in all birthing hospitals has been required by law since 1998, yet lack of government funding has made universal screening difficult to achieve (Padua, et al, 2005).

UNHS Program Information:

Brazil has one of the largest and oldest NHS programs in Latin America with over 237 screening sites across 22 of the 27 Brazilian states (approximately 4% of Brazilian maternity hospitals) (Davoine, 2007). The movement toward NHS began within some private hospitals, and in October 1998 a committee on Infant Hearing was created with representatives from the Brazilian Societies of Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Speech pathology/Audiology and other national organizations. In November 1999, the committee finalized the first consensus on NHS (Comite Brasiliero sob re Perdas Auditivas Na Infancia, 2000) (Chapchap & Segre, 2001).

Brazil also has a group, called GATANU (Grupo de Apoio a Triagem Auditiva Neaonatal, Universal Brazilian Task Force on Universal Newborn Hearing Screening), that has been directly involved with UNHS for over10 years. This group was formed by audiologists, pediatricians and otolaryngologist who are currently running some of the NHS programs in Brazil (Grupo de Apoio a Triagem Auditiva Neaonatal Universal, 2005).

Articles Published:

  • Bevilacqua, M.C, Novaes, B.C, & Morata, T.C. (2008). Audiology in Brazil. International Journal of Audiology, 47(2), 45-50.
  • Pádua, F.G., Marone, S., Bento, R.F., Carvallo,R.M., Durante, A.S., Soares, J.C., Barros, J.C., & Leoni, C.R. (2005). Newborn hearing screening program: A challenge for its implantation. International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, 9(3), 190-194.
  • Davoine, S. (2007). Universal newborn hearing screening: A long way to go. Audio Info No 06, 19-23. [PDF] Retrieved February 3, 2009 from
  • Chapchap, M. J., & Segre, C. M. (2001). Universal newborn hearing screening and transient evoked otoacoustic emission: New concepts in Brazil. Scandinavian Audiology, 30 (53), 33-36.
  • Griz, S., Mercês, G., Menezes, D., & Lima, M.L. (2009) Newborn hearing screening: an outpatient model. The International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 73(1),1-7.
  • Borges, C.A., Moreira, M.O., Pena, G.M., Fernandes, F. R., Borges, B.daC., & Otani, B.H. (2006). Universal neonatal hearing screening. International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, 10 (1), 28-34.
  • Françozo, Mde F, Fernandes, J.C., Lima, MC, & Rossi, TR, (2007) Improvement of return rates in a Neonatal Hearing Screening Program: the contribution of social work. Social Work in Health Care. 44(3),179-90.
  • Russo I.C. (2000) Overview of audiology in Brazil: State of the art. Audiology. 39(4):202-6.

Educational Materials:

Other Resources:


  1. World Bank, Population Reference Bureau (2008). 2008 World Population data sheet. [PDF]