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Suzhou, Xuzhou, Suqian

August 2016 China

Days after all the excitement of the So The World May Hear Awards Gala, the mission team embarked on the Foundation’s annual China hearing mission.

China is considered by many to be the world’s oldest continuous human civilization, having a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. Throughout its history, China has seen cycles of prosperity and recession.

Looking around the magnificent glass-clad skyscrapers and wide boulevards strewn with modern cars one can wonder whether there is the need for providing hearing health care.

The need is great. The conservative estimate of the number of people with hearing loss in the country is staggering. According to Chinese National Bureau of Statistics more than 21 million people have hearing loss. Many of the patients are brought in from adjoining rural areas and, as a result, historically we see quite a wide range of cases from impacted earwax, infections, perforations and foreign bodies that have to be taken care of in the otoscopy station prior to being fit with hearing devices.

Our work in China in 2016 was a 13-day hearing mission to the cities of Suzhou, Xuzhou and Suqian. We were greeted each day by the hundreds of smiling faces of people who were incredibly thankful to receive their new hearing devices, knowing the positive affects the ability to hear will have in their lives.

By the end of the nearly two weeks we spent in China, we were able to increase the number of people we’ve helped in China to more than 25,000 — a true testament of how teamwork and cooperation can make a significant difference in so many lives.

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