Starkey hearing foundation changing lives in Guyana – by restoring hearing

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, June 13, 2017

More than 500 people left the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Sophia having restored hearing, with hearing aids that were distributed by the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

The Department of Public Information/ Government Information Agency (GINA) was in Sophia and witnessed the excitement and joy from some of the beneficiary’s on receiving their hearing aids.

Akayla Ferrier with founders of the Starkey Hearing Foundation along with Public Health representatives and Non-Government Organisation representatives

“It is nice now that I can hear properly because I can hear things I never heard before now I can get to listen music more better. It’s so nice to be a better person. I couldn’t hear properly. When persons call me, I don’t hear, I can’t hear them and they get angry with me,” Nine-year-old, Akayla Ferrier of the Kuru Kururu Primary School told DPI/GINA that the hearing aid which she received is practically giving her a new lease on life since she would be able to enjoy those things she never had the chance to.

Akayla’s father, Askari Farrier said that she lost her hearing after a simple surgical was done resulting in Akayla losing 40 per cent of hearing in her left ear. “There was an experiment, and it involved a pea she put one of that in the ear and it got stuck so we went to the hospital so they had to do a surgery to get it out.”

“It makes you perfect back in life, so you can hear what was missing all your life so by getting a new hearing aid now from this company It’s very very auspicious for me and maybe all other patient will have that same thing.” Devendra Budhoo explained.

Students of the David Rose Special School waiting to be examined by doctors performing audiograms at today’s distribution exercise by Starkey Hearing Foundation

Budhoo who had suffered from hearing loss for the past five years said that during that time communicating with other persons was a challenge. With his pair of hearing aids which he received, he said that his quality of life has been improved.

Starkey Hearing foundation started its work in Guyana after First Lady, Sandra Granger advocated improved hearing health. Earlier in 2017, the foundation conducted audiograms on patients with hearing disabilities with the intent to later provide them with hearing aids once a problem has been detected.

On February 27, 2017, the hearing foundation partnered with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Ministry of Public Health’s Audiology Department along with the First Lady to provide hearing aids to children with hearing disabilities across Guyana. It has been recognised that such a device can cost an individual up to $65,000 for each side of a hearing aid.

Phase two of the Guyana mission has made hearing a reality by distributing hearing aid to adults and children from all walks of life. Most persons benefitting from the exercise describes it as a life changing one since most of them were not able to effectively and efficiently communicate with other persons.

Some of the hearing aids for distribution on display from the Starkey Hearing Foundation

Co-Founder of the foundation, Tani Austin told media operatives that this distribution process has been made possible through great partnerships fostered.

“The Starkey Hearing Foundation, we believe in partnering with people on the ground, none of us can do it alone but together we can help so many more people so we are ready to help Guyana, this is our first big effort there will be more.” Austin noted.

According to the founder of the foundation, William Austin, Starkey the foundation was set up in 1973 as the Starkey Fund providing hearing aids for person who could not afford it.

The foundation was established to carry out audiology services in more than 50 countries around the world. The team’s idea is to serve humanity by restoring one of the most important senses in the human body.

By: Delicia Haynes