World Hearing Day 2021

3rd March 2021

Today marks World Hearing Day 2021 and the World Health Organisation’s theme this year is ‘Hearing Care for All’, launching the WHO World Report on Hearing and presenting a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course.

The World Federation of the Deaf is also raising awareness of Sign Languages on World Hearing Day today, asking all “Let’s Remember to Sign!” because national sign languages are important for everyone!

DeafKidz International supports both these important messages of Hearing Care for All and Let’s Remember to Sign. Our global programmes are ensuring deaf children, children and adults have access to ear and hearing care, education and support services, all in their communication mode of choice. To celebrate World Hearing Day 2021 we are delighted to share updates on our work in Zambia and Pakistan.

Zambia – Local outreach screening

On World Hearing Day, our audiology teams in Zambia are carrying out awareness, screening and remote hearing aid fittings in local schools and communities, to raise awareness of ear and hearing care and the importance of ear identification and support for deaf children and adults. The teams are able to provide remote screening using the sound-proof booths in our fully equipped mobile ear clinics, as part of our wider 3 year ear and hearing care project in Zambia, funded by Jersey Overseas Aid and in collaboration with the Zambia Ministry of Health.

Our audiology team at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka travelled to Kotaba Health Centre and screened 22 people for hearing loss, fitting 4 people with hearing aids, and the audiology team at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital in Ndola visited Kabwate School, and screened 48 children for hearing loss. These outreach trips have been delivered with smaller groups to adhere to local safety protocols and guidelines in place for Covid-19.

Pakistan – Parenting Support Videos

With schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been working with our local partner Deaf Reach to develop parenting support videos in PSL (Pakistan Sign Language) and Urdu, aimed at providing parents of deaf children with much-needed basic life skills to support them and their child’s health and wellbeing during this challenging time at home.

Deaf Reach has provided deaf students with laptops and online resources so that vital education and communication is not lost. These parenting support videos are enabling parents the opportunity to continue to access the support that would usually be offered in person within the Deaf Reach parenting support programme. The videos will be shared to parents of 1200 pupils across the 7 Deaf Reach campuses in Pakistan and focus on Good Eating and Wellness; Basic ear care; Basic hygiene and Menstruation.

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