Santo Domingo, Santiago
April 2016 Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic, more than 3,000 hearing devices were provided for people in need by Starkey Hearing Foundation in the cities of Santo Domingo and Santiago. We have been to this beautiful Island eight times, distributing more than 37,000 hearing devices to young and old so that they can receive the gift of hearing and the power of caring.
“I want to do everything possible so we can continue missions,” says Antonio Esteban, hearing aid specialist and country coordinator for the Foundation. “Dreams are coming true here at the mission.”
The stream of patients did not subside either day. The local Red Cross was a critical partner to ensure the safety and care of the more than 1000 patients for the two-day mission.
A survey of those patients indicated that over 35 percent didn’t know the cause of their hearing loss. And 24 percent experienced hearing loss at birth. The majority of the patient’s age ranged between 6 and 64. More than 30 percent were over 65 and 6 percent were five and under. Specifically, we had one patient who was 115 years-of-age and another who was one-year-old.
The patients register and stop at the otoscopy station where we check the ears for infection, and then they are off to the fitting station. Once the patients have their devices, they learn how to operate and care for them. They then finish at a final quality control station.
The mission in the Dominican Republic is emblematic of the work the Foundation does across the globe. We collaborate with local and national government, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and health leaders to identify patients and fit them with hearing devices, while also providing community-based hearing health care and mainstreaming services.
Patients receive hearing health care via a proven methodology utilizing the Wide Frequency Audibility (WFA®) fitting method that assesses the audibility for speech sounds, prevents loudness discomfort, and balances amplification between ears.
Everything we accomplished in the Dominican Republic and continue to do at Starkey Hearing Foundation is rooted in our commitment to empower the patient through better hearing.
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