Fourth Class of Hearing Instrument Specialists

On Monday, December 2, Starkey Hearing Foundation celebrated the graduation of 11 Hearing Instrument Specialists from the Starkey Hearing Institute in Lusaka, Zambia. The graduates will help address the dire shortage of hearing healthcare professionals in the developing world.

The 2019 graduates represent five countries from around Africa. They have studied and been trained in professional ear and hearing health, including Starkey Hearing Foundation’s WFA Community-Based Hearing HealthCare Program and WHO Primary Ear and Hearing Care courses, as well as the Public Health Approach for District Level Ear and Hearing Health course developed by The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Graduates will now return to their communities to provide desperately needed hearing healthcare services for people throughout Africa. 

“Service before self. We see and believe this and it’s what makes us different,” said Dr. Alfred Mwamba Au.D., Executive Director, Starkey Hearing Institute. Starkey Hearing Foundation Founder, William F. Austin added,“With the heart of many and hands working together, we can move the world. We will put more smiles on people’s faces. We will bring joy to life.”

Starkey Hearing Institute opened in 2016 to help meet the growing need for more hearing healthcare professionals in Africa. The commencement ceremony was held on the Institute’s campus at the newly constructed Juliet Wheeler Event Center Foundation which was sponsored by dedicated supporters of the Foundation. The Foundation was honored to welcome Zambia’s First Lady, Madam Esther Lungu in attendance as well as members from Delta Zeta Sorority National who are passionate supporters of the Foundation’s mission.

“This has been years of very good output and impact, not just for us here in Zambia, but for many parts of the world,” said Madame Esther Lungu, First Lady of Zambia. “The investments they (the Foundation) make into this facility are a testament to the long-term commitment to the education of the Starkey Hearing Foundation family.”

“We have received the best education that anyone could receive in this world. We are going out there, and we are going to work as if each of us has got 100 hands.” said Linus, 2019 Class President.

Starkey Hearing Foundation has a goal of educating and training 300 community-based hearing healthcare professionals at the Institute by 2030. To date, 41 students from 15 countries throughout Africa have graduated from the Institute.

During the graduation weekend, the graduates held their final hearing mission on the Institute’s grounds, serving over 200 people, providing over 245 hearing aids to those in need. The hearing mission encompassed the WFA™ Community-Based Hearing HealthCare Model of fitting hearing aids and serving a mass group of people in one day.  The smiles and success were evident during the entire day. We were excited to have the executive team from our partners, Delta Zeta, at the graduation and mission in Zambia.

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