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Blair and Starkey Hearing Foundation Share Belief in Africa's Future

May 11, 2016 Press Release

NAIROBI, KENYA (May 11, 2016) Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair visited a hearing health care mission hosted by Starkey Hearing Foundation. Tani Austin, co-founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation and chief philanthropy officer of Starkey Hearing Technologies introduced Blair to a patient and explained that the team has a long-history of serving individuals in Africa who have hearing loss and work to address the critical shortage of hearing health care workers in under-development African countries. Many of these countries only have one audiologist for a million people.

Blair’s work with the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) supports African leaders and governments to turn their visions for development into reality – to get from power plans to power plants, from a line in a speech to a line of children outside their new school.

“I’ve just seen the most amazing thing happen, which is the ability to give someone hearing,” Blair said. “For these people this is just a liberation. This is such an important piece of work. The Starkey Foundation has managed to do this on a global scale in so many different countries and it’s such a simple clear idea, but it’s got such momentous impact on everybody that it helps.”

Studies demonstrate that hearing devices are associated with impressive improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and economic well-being of people with hearing loss in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe.

“The result of today’s mission inspires a person to achieve their potential. We can profoundly and positively impact their quality of life,” said Austin. “The Foundation's community-based hearing health care model revolves around simplicity, scalability, and sustainability. The model aligns well with Blair’s African Governance Initiative to provide aid to Africa and their model of skills, systems, and structure.”

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About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation, a public charity founded by William F. Austin, gives the gift of hearing to people in need in the U.S. and around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that improve lives and promote understanding. The Foundation focuses on hearing health missions, education, and recycling, as well as grants to mission-aligned organizations. Connect with Starkey Hearing Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, or visit www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org

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