ZANE Hearing Aids Programme

Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment, defined as deviation from normal hearing ranges from mild to profound hearing loss. Hearing impairment is a silent, progressive condition whose consequences are devastating in the absence of early and timely intervention.

Hearing loss in children results in failure to attain the spoken language, literacy and numeracy skills leading to poor educational performance and limited vocational prospects. In addition, children with hearing impairment are prone to physical and sexual abuse, stigma and discrimination.

An estimated 360 million people live with hearing disability globally of which 44% of all cases are women and 9% are children less than 15 years. According to The World Health Organization’s (WHO) statistics hearing disability in Zimbabwe ranges from 4-6% of the general population. This means that approximately 520 000 to 780 000 people live with hearing disability in Zimbabwe. The estimates by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare are an underestimate of the actual burden of hearing impairment by a factor of 20 and this has been attributed to lack of clear definitions of what constitutes hearing disability in the country, poor methodologies for existing surveys and social isolation which leads to under reporting of cases. According to surveys done in Manicaland Province, hearing loss ranged between 2.2-2.8% among school children. It is estimated that 50% of all cases of hearing disability globally are avoidable.

The Problem

The WHO estimates that 20% of all people living with hearing impairment require hearing assistive devices however only 3% of these have access to these devices. While it’s the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare to provide hearing assistive devices, these ministries lack the capacity and resources to provide hearing aids in the public sector. In addition, while there are hearing aid providers in the private sector, hearing assistive devices and the associated hearing aid accessories come to a huge cost ranging from USD$ 600 to USD$ 1500 per hearing aid. This cost is beyond the reach of the majority of the Zimbabwean population. As a result of the lack of hearing healthcare services, hearing impaired children and adults have often gone without the much needed hearing aids.

The Solution

ZANE has partnered with WizEar, who have embarked on an ambitious programme to try and close the disparity in access to hearing healthcare services between the affluent and the poor by supporting the underprivileged with affordable hearing aids of good quality. With support from various stakeholders both local and international we have managed to reach out to more than 250 clients requiring hearing aids over the past 9 months. In addition we have been able to provide comprehensive follow up of all beneficiaries through over the phone follow ups and monthly clinics. We are looking forward to expand our services to all Provincial Hospitals in Zimbabwe.

‘’Client X had hearing impairment since the age of 2 years. He is now 10 years of age. He had challenges in class due to hearing impairment and had to sit close to the teacher in order to hear. I had to shout even when he is close to me because of his poor hearing. He was being stigmatised and isolated at school because of the hearing problem. I am grateful that he can now hear properly thanks to the support from WizEar.’’ By client’s mother

‘’Client Y (Blue jacket) has had hearing impairment since the age of 5 years. He has had recurrent ear infections for which he received medical attention from various practitioners without any improvement. He sometimes had to miss school because of the ear infections. He faced challenges in class and had to sit close to the teacher because of his hearing problem. We then heard about WizEar this year (2015). I want to thank God that my son can now hear properly.’’ By client’s mother

Mr Z: ‘’I have had hearing impairment for over a decade now. I had challenges communicating both at work and at home because of the hearing problem. I declined the opportunity of becoming a manager at work because of my hearing problem. Even though I knew that I required hearing aids, the cost was way beyond my means. I am truly thankful for your support, continue the good work’’

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ZANE - Zimbabwe a National Emergency
Registered Charity No: 1112949

company number 05604011
Registered address:
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