The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in collaboration with Starkey Hearing Foundation, a United States based non-governmental organisation, is providing hearing-aid devices for 850 selected students from the Jamasi and Bechem schools for the deaf in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, respectively.
The beneficiary students who have already been screened in theirrespective schools are receiving the service on the KATH premises where a team of about 20 medical officers from the US and their counterparts at the KATH are fitting the hearing-aid devises into their ears.
The hearing aid devices, according to the medical officers, will enable the beneficiary students hear sounds within their immediate environments, thereby reintegrating them into society.
Briefing the media on the project, the Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation, Mr William F. Austin, said the foundation, which was established about 50 years ago, was part of his contribution to support people with hearing defects.
He pointed out that because of the defects of such people, they were always insecure and frustrated “so supporting them to hear sounds forms part of my organisation’s mission to connect life to them.”
Mr Austin noted that each hearing-aid device was being sold at $700 on the open market, but was being offered free of charge to the 850 students.
He said the organisation had already provided similar support for some students at Tamale and added that they planned to offer the same support for deaf students in Nigeria and Liberia.
The Head of Directorate of the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) at KATH, Dr Joseph Opoku-Buaben, said each beneficiary would be provided with a device relevant to their level of impairment.
He said after the devices had been fitted into the ears, there would be series of monitoring at a centre that would be created at the KATH.
He said the centres would determine the level of progress made, and based on such progress, the project would be extended to cover other parts of the country.
He gave an assurance that KATH would continue to collaborate with Starkey Hearing Foundation not only to sustain the project, but to ensure that as many people as possible with hearing impairments benefited.
Source: Daily Graphic
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