LUSAKA, ZAMBIA--(Marketwired - December 18, 2016) -
To download complimentary event images, please visit: [http://bit.ly/2i45hUN]
Zambia's First Lady Esther Lungu attended the inaugural graduation of students who received certificates as hearing instrument specialists from Starkey Hearing Institute. The quest to train 300 community-based hearing healthcare workers in Africa has begun by the Starkey Hearing Foundation to accelerate the pace of helping people with hearing loss.
With their education, graduates can now practice community-based, primary, and secondary hearing health services where they will provide ear and hearing health services in both rural and urban African communities. These new specialists will work to eradicate preventable hearing loss and empower people to achieve their potential.
In Zambia, the number of people with hearing impairment is approximately 750,000 people. And in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number is as high as 36 million people. With such a large number of people with hearing loss, an urgent need exists to increase the number of individuals who can provide quality hearing healthcare to help this population.
"These students received a world-class education that equips them with a rewarding, sustainable career that gives hope and hearing to our citizens and prosperity to our communities," said First Lady of Zambia H.E. Mrs. Esther Lungu. "I have seen first-hand what Starkey Hearing Foundation has done for our people. Bill and Tani Austin are partners in promoting peace and understanding through hearing."
"We are providing our students with employment opportunities by providing them with an internationally recognized hearing healthcare education," said Alfred Mwamba, Au.D., executive director, Starkey Hearing Institute. "These graduates will break down the barriers of a silent world for people with hearing loss in Africa."
Starkey Hearing Institute continues and expands the vision of William F. Austin of providing accessible hearing care to those who cannot hear. The opening of the Institute on March 17, 2016 was a capstone event of Austin's more than 50 years of giving the gift of hearing and expanding the WFA® Community-Based Hearing HealthCare model to 51 countries, which is unprecedented in global hearing healthcare.
This model is precedent-setting, shifting the paradigm that all the world can hear is possible.
"This work gives me a feeling of being fulfilled in my life," said Khotso Raphael Kebise.
About Starkey Hearing Foundation
Starkey Hearing Foundation, a charity founded by William F. Austin, gives the gift of hearing to people in need in the U.S. and around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that improve lives and promote understanding. The Foundation focuses on hearing health care, education, and support. The Foundation has cared for more than 1.1 million patients and provided 1.9 million hearing devices in more than 100 countries. Connect with Starkey Hearing Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, or visit www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.