The Swiss Hear the World Foundation and the Canadian World Wide Hearing Foundation, long-standing supporters of low- and middle-income countries, are uniting to magnify their impact on a global scale.
“To scale hearing aid provision in Low & Middle-Income Countries, we need to pool resources with other funders who also value quality hearing care,” says Audra Renyi, World Wide Hearing’s executive director. “This is why we collaborate with Hear the World, supporting partners in Guatemala, Peru, and Zimbabwe.”
These foundations have independently addressed challenges, providing aid, training, and equipment to partners, and together aim to maximize their social impact.
“Collaborative approaches are the way forward to enable growth and long-lasting impact,” says Joelle Pianzola, managing director of Hear the World Foundation. “By joining forces, we can achieve much more. This, coupled with our significant contributions through our best-in-class hearing aids, helps foster more meaningful progress.”
In Peru, with less than fifteen audiologists for 34 million people, low-income families struggle to access hearing aids. Thanks to Hear the World and World Wide Hearing support, Oir Para Crecer, an NGO in Peru, has screened 85,000 children for hearing loss and fitted over 2,000 pediatric hearing aids. Renyi notes the beginning of Oir Para Crecer’s ambitious plan to double annual hearing aid fitting capacity and fit 10,000 hearing aids in the coming years.
Adrianno, an 8-year-old boy with severe hearing loss from a low-income family in Cajamarca, Peru, was fitted with two hearing aids by Oir Para Crecer two years ago. He is now thriving in school and can better communicate with his friends and family, the organizations say.
“What is needed now is more funding partners to join this effort in supporting the scaling of hearing interventions through a true partnership approach,” adds Audra Renyi.
Further reading: NYU Langone Launches Low-income Hearing Loss Program
Featured image: A child in Zimbabwe receives an ear cleaning from Wizear, a local NGO. Removing excessive ear wax and foreign bodies is key to ear health and preventing hearing loss. Photo: CNW Group/World Wide Hearing International