Starkey Hearing Foundation, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization committed to making hearing healthcare services more accessible in the US and throughout the world, announced that it is celebrating the graduation of 11 hearing healthcare professionals from the Starkey Hearing Institute in Lusaka, Zambia. The graduates will reportedly help address the shortage of hearing healthcare professionals in the developing world, according to Starkey’s announcement.

The 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.  

“Approximately 900,000 Zambians currently do not have hearing healthcare,” said Dr Alfred Mwamba, AuD, executive director, Starkey Hearing Institute. “Our graduates have worked very hard to achieve the education and training they need to return to their home communities to help more people with hearing loss.”

Starkey Hearing Institute opened in 2016 to help meet the growing need for more hearing healthcare professionals in Africa. The Institute provides full-year, accredited, professional ear and hearing health education, including hands-on training in direct care delivery.

“The need for hearing healthcare in developing countries is immense,” said Starkey Hearing Foundation Co-Founder, Tani Austin. “Starkey Hearing Institute graduates have the potential to change the lives of millions of people by empowering them to reach their full potential through the gift of hearing.”

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.

Source: Starkey Hearing Foundation