The Need

  • The WHO estimates at least 278 million persons in the world are affected by moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
  • 2/3 of all hearing impaired individuals live in developing countries
  • Hearing loss can impact on a child’s development by causing delays in language acquisition and impeding school progress.
  • Later in adult life it can cause vocational and economic difficulties. And for the elderly it can lead to increased social isolation.
  • The major preventable causes of hearing impairment in low- and middle-income countries are middle ear infections, excessive noise, inappropriate use of certain drugs, problems during childbirth and vaccine-preventable infection
  • Audiologists and ear physicians with knowledge of the ear are few and far between (Malawi has one ENT!!!!)
  • One quarter of cases of hearing impairment begin during childhood
  • At least half of all hearing impairment is preventable
  • In developing countries, fewer than 1 in 40 people who need a hearing aid have one

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