It is generally recognized that chronic otitis media and sequelae of this disease are frequently encountered among the native population of Greenland, but the prevalence of chronic otitis in Greenland has not previously been systematically traced. Treatment for this disease has improved and we expect an increased demand for treatment of this disease among Greenland natives. To evaluate the need of treatment the prevalence of chronic otitis media in two large Greenland towns was assessed. The study population included 303 persons aged 11-20 years and 305 aged 41-50 years. Medical histories were recorded and objective examinations were performed using e.g. oto-microscopy. Among the young participants, 8% had chronic suppurative otitis and 14% sequelae of chronic otitis media. Among the older participants, 2% had suppurative otitis and 13% sequelae of chronic otitis. It is estimated, using Scandinavian criteria, that 8.6% of the participants would have benefitted from an ear operation either to stop otorrhea and/or to improve the hearing. The launching of an oto-surgical effort in Greenland is considered justifiable on the grounds of the importance of hearing to communication and the isolation in point of the native Greenland population.