The World Health Organization (WHO) state that around 466million people worldwide have a disabling hearing loss and 34 million of these are children.
In the UK, those with hearing loss are easily able to access hearing health care and hearing aids but 80% of people with hearing loss live in low or middle income countries and are unable to afford to purchase hearing aids. Additionally, hearing care can be scarce with few audiologists available to test hearing and provide assistance.
Untreated hearing loss can affect development of speech and language and the ability to obtain and keep a job, potentially leading to poverty.
There are several charities who provide hearing support to developing countries and Help in Hearing have been collecting unwanted hearing aids for two charities for a number of years. The Lions Club and The Starkey Foundation, both of whom collect unwanted hearing aids, refurbish them and send them to developing countries to be fitted to those with hearing loss.
We recently sent this large box of unwanted devices to The Starkey Foundation.
Founded in 1984, The Starkey Foundation mission is to make hearing healthcare service accessible for people around the world. To date, they have helped those with hearing loss in over 100 countries.
The Foundation support the instigation of hearing centres and provide training for local hearing health workers in how to identify hearing loss and fit the donated hearing aids.
Hearing aids can be donated by sending them direct to The Lions or The Starkey Foundation clearly marked as “donated hearing aids”.
For The Lions Club, go to their website www.lionsclubs.org to find your local donation site or for The Starkey Foundation, post to The Starkey Foundation, Starkey Technologies, William F Austin House, Pepper Rd, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 5BX