Starkey Hearing Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to making hearing healthcare services more accessible in the U.S. and throughout the world, served 782 people during a two-day mission in Kingston over World Hearing Day. In partnership with local teams and government leaders, the Foundation’s efforts are opening up new opportunities for patients as they work to empower people in need to achieve their potential through hearing.
On World Hearing Day (March 3rd) the mission was kicked off during a ceremony attended by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, and wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Juliet Holness.
“The Starkey Hearing Foundation family have been in Jamaica since 2017, and have come year after year with missions both here in Kingston, Jamaica and in Montego Bay so that they can reach every single Jamaican who has a desire to hear and are not able to afford a hearing aid,” said Holness. “It brings tears to my eyes very often. It means a lot to us.”
At the mission site, Tufton announced he will be establishing a Technical Working group to guide the development of a National Policy for Hearing Health in Jamaica. Tufton said developing a hearing health policy is a priority, and Holness added that the data already collected and work done by Starkey Hearing Foundation will be a crucial part of creating the best policy possible. Since 2017, the Foundation has fit more than 2,400 Jamaicans with hearing aids, and they provide continuous AfterCare for those patients.
“To see the large turnout of people each day at our missions who want to get access to our services and to hear how grateful they and their family members are confirms the absolute need for hearing healthcare services in Jamaica and the Caribbean region,” said Starkey Hearing Foundation International Development Director-Caribbean, Kirk Richards. “The continued support of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, our Patron Hon. Juliet Holness and all of our partners and sponsors confirms that we are all at the table to ensure that Jamaica hears.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified World Hearing Day in an effort to raise awareness on how to prevent hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. Their 2020 theme is Hearing for life: don’t let hearing loss limit you.
The WHO theme mirrors Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission: to give the gift of hearing to those in need, empowering them to achieve their potential. By collaborating with governments and health leaders, Starkey Hearing Foundation is making hearing healthcare services more accessible for people around the world.
“The stories we hear about children being able to go back to school or adults being able to go back to work after we fit them with hearing aids show how many opportunities open up through hearing,” said Starkey Hearing Foundation President and Board Chair Richard Brown. “We are committed to continuing to serve the Caribbean region as a whole, and the great people of Jamaica.”
Since 1984 Starkey Hearing Foundation has provided free hearing aids in more than 100 countries and administered more than 1.5 million hearing healthcare services. To learn more about how you can help or donate to the cause, click here.
About Starkey Hearing Foundation:
Founded on the vision of William F. Austin, “So the World May Hear,” Starkey Hearing Foundation has been tirelessly working to bring the gift of hearing to people in the U.S. and around the world. Their global advocacy and impact on hearing loss is unmatched, and since 1984, they have provided free hearing aids and other hearing healthcare services in more than 100 countries. They train local partners and health workers in other countries to provide simple, sustainable and scalable care for the patients they serve. They partner with universities and have started the Starkey Hearing Institute to educate future hearing care professionals in developing countries. Starkey Hearing Foundation also helps governments and public health officials create their own country-specific national hearing health plans. Learn more at www.starkeyhearingfoundation.