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Starkey Hearing Foundation Proposes National Strategic Plan for Ear Care and Hearing Health in Africa

September 17, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria (Sept. 17, 2018) – Starkey Hearing Foundation, a global non-governmental organization (NGO) that is focused on providing ear care and hearing health services to low- and middle-income countries around the world, in partnership with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health, inaugurated a technical working group to develop a national strategic plan to provide ear care and hearing health services to those in need. The plan will provide an actionable pathway to reducing preventable hearing losses, access to hearing professionals, and rehabilitative services to the hearing impaired.

“Starkey Hearing Foundation was founded by Bill Austin over thirty years ago with a simple premise—So the World May Hear,” said Richard Brown, President and Board Chair at Starkey Hearing Foundation. “The Foundation has evolved into an organization that utilizes a holistic approach in solving the global hearing problem by working with governments and stakeholders around Africa to implement sustainable programs. This is truly allowing our founder’s vision to be fulfilled.”

According to a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of disabling hearing loss stands at 466 million; a conservative estimate of the prevalence in Nigeria is 8.5 million people.

“Currently, only 42 of the 193 countries in the world have national strategic plans for ear care and hearing health,” said Dr. Luqman Lawal, Director of Global Health and Research at Starkey Hearing Foundation. “We originally started this program in Kenya and are now systematically expanding to other sub-Saharan African countries. Starkey Hearing Foundation is the catalyst that brought all of these people together, and our community-based approach to [hearing] health care will allow a successful implementation of the proposed programs to continue for years to come.”

Today’s inauguration is part of Starkey Hearing Foundation’s support for the development of a five-year plan to help hundreds of thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa and other low- and middle-income countries who may otherwise not have access to hearing care.

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