Starkey Hearing Foundation: So the world may hear
In October 2015 I was invited to take part in the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission at Bhubezi Clinic in Hazyview, Mpumalanga.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 360 million people have disabling hearing loss, with the greatest prevalence occurring in developing countries. Unfortunately, less than three percent of these individuals can afford hearing aids or even have access to the care they need. The Starkey Hearing Foundation arranges missions around the world in hopes of bringing hearing healthcare to the communities that have no access to audiologists.
I had the privilege of joining the Starkey team and Sir Richard Branson with his Virgin Unite team, a contributor to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, in improving the lives of the Bhubezi community. The Virgin Unite clinic is committed to providing healthcare for people in rural South Africa who otherwise would have no access to health services.
The Bhubezi mission was conducted in two phases: testing phase to identify individuals with a hearing loss, and a fitting phase where we fitted over 250 individuals with hearing aids free of charge. This mission gave hearing aids to many children and adults, allowing them to connect with hearing to their families and communities.
This was truly an incredible experience, and I look forward to taking part in similar missions again in 2016 and providing access to the world of sound for those less fortunate.
If you would like to find out more about and take a look at the other missions that the Starkey Hearing Foundation team has made possible, browse through their missions here: https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/Missions