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World Hearing Day 2018 – Preventing hearing loss in the world’s poorest places

Posted on: Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

World Hearing Day is coming up on the 3rd March. This globally recognised day allows us to celebrate the progress being made in preventing deafness and hearing loss across the world. But it is also a time to highlight the need for better ear and hearing care, especially in the world’s poorest places.

360 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss. 32 million of these are children. Many of the causes of hearing loss can be prevented – but in countries like Zambia, southern Africa, lack of ear and hearing care services leave many children struggling needlessly.

Balika (12)

Balika’s mother worried that her son would never be able to talk because of his hearing impairment. She explains: “Balika never made any friends. The other children simply couldn’t understand him and he couldn’t understand them. That was a big barrier,” she says. He became a solitary little boy and life at home was difficult too. “I had to shout to make him understand us,” Kalunga explains. “I was very concerned”.

But since he’s been fitted with hearing aids at CBM’s partner hospital in Zambia, Balika’s life has been transformed. “He finally started to speak. It was so exciting!” explains his mother. Balika now excels in school and loves football, dancing and music.

Find out more about Balika here (open link in new tab) and look out for more stories on Facebook and Twitter this week – like and share to show your support!

Our new programme in Zambia, starting this year, will help many more people like Balika, by improving access to ear and hearing care services and providing hearing aids and other support. Read more about our ear care programme in Zambia here (open link in new tab).

Trudie Goodwin shares her experience of hearing loss

Trudie Goodwin smilingCBM Champion, Trudie Goodwin, who is best known for playing Sergeant June Ackland in the British television police drama The Bill, has experienced hearing loss from a young age and knows how different things could have been if she hadn’t had the right support available to her.

“Thanks to tiny hearing aids provided by the NHS, my fairly minor disability certainly doesn’t prevent me from going about my daily life and pursuing my acting career – but without help I know that this would be extremely difficult, even here in the UK. Seeing the way that CBM UK is working to improve the lives of people with disabilities in circumstances far, far more difficult than mine… all over the developing world has meant I have remained a supporter over the years.”

Hear the Future

The theme of World Hearing Day 2018 is ‘Hear the Future’. As the world’s population increases, hearing loss and deafness are inevitably due to increase too. Thanks to our generous supporters, CBM is working with local partners to improve ear care services, especially in rural areas, to prevent hearing loss and provide rehabilitation services for people living with hearing impairment.

Coming up this week…

To mark World Hearing Day 2018, look out for Programme Officer Ned Carter’s blog on hearing loss in the world’s poorest places and what CBM is doing to tackle this issue. And on Facebook (open link in new tab) and Twitter (open link in new tab), we will also be sharing stories of inspiring individuals who have been able to reach their full potential thanks to CBM support.

Images: Top – Patient receives ear examination at a CBM-supported hospital in Zambia. Middle – Balika (12) has been fitted with hearing aids at a CBM-supported hospital in Zambia. Bottom – CBM UK Champion, Trudie Goodwin.