Our Projects

Past and Present

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The Philippines, 2016 - ongoing – World Wide Hearing is partnering with IDEA and CBM International to expand ongoing screening campaigns in the province of Bohol using mobile diagnostic technologies. Our goal is to screen 35,000 people over two years, our most ambitious screening project to date. World Wide Hearing will furthermore train 240 people to identify ear disorders through otoscopy as part of the Easy Access to Rehabilitation Services (EARS) Capacity Building Program.

Peru, 2016 - ongoing – World Wide Hearing is launching an initiative to teach its audio-technician training course to students enrolled at Cayetano Heredia University, in Lima. We will train 150 university students over the course of three years, who will in turn screen 30,000 children for hearing loss as part of a nationwide hearing care campaign in elementary schools that will be launched simultaneously. To ensure the sustainability of the program, World Wide Hearing is donating diagnostic equipment to be used for ongoing training and screening.

Nunavut, Canada, 2016 - ongoing – World Wide Hearing will train and equip local health workers in remote Aboriginal communities in the Canadian Arctic to screen for hearing loss and provide hearing aid maintenance services. Inuit children have some of the highest levels of hearing loss in the world, and yet there are very few audiology and ear care services available in Northern Canada. The success of Inuit education and employment initiatives in Nunavut, which are key to the development of its communities, depends on first addressing the widespread problem of hearing loss.

Vietnam, 2016 – In 2016, World Wide Hearing organized a pilot project to screen kindergarten children for hearing loss on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. This pilot tested the effectiveness of our hearing loss detection techniques in challenging conditions (testing children under five years of age in very noisy environments) and provided valuable insight for updating our diagnostic toolkit. Project funds were also deployed to train over 70 audio-technicians, therapists, and teachers on audiology and auditory-verbal teaching/therapy concepts.

Guatemala, 2015 - ongoing – Since 2015, World Wide Hearing has organized hearing loss screenings every year in rural schools and clinics in Guatemala City, Cobán, Mazatenango, and Quetzaltenango. We also distribute low-cost hearing aids to people and families that cannot afford audiology services. In Guatemala City, we carried out the world’s first research study to measure the impact of providing hearing aids on poverty, mental health, and quality of life in a developing country.

Jordan, 2012-2014 – The pilot launch of Hearing Express took place in Jordan in collaboration with the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf. It was the first of its kind to deliver affordable hearing aids using an entrepreneurial distribution model. This project provided invaluable proof-of-concept of our capacity to reduce hearing aid fittings to under an hour, to provide hearing aids at an affordable price, and to train local women to become community hearing aid technicians (CHATs). 

China, 2006-2010 - Working with the China Rehabilitation Research Centre for Deaf Children (CRRCDC), four hundred children in poor areas were fitted with hearing aids. Children in the primary health group were fitted by primary school teachers trained as hearing health care workers. The project also led to government-supervised development of the profession of hearing aid dispensing technician. Economic studies conducted by a researcher from a Netherlands university concluded that "screening and delivery of hearing aids in China is least costly and most cost-effective in a primary care setting. Although crude estimates indicate that both passive and active screening programs can be cautiously considered as cost-effective according to international thresholds, important questions remain regarding the implementation of the latter."

Brazil, 2006-2010 - World Wide Hearing teamed up with the audiology department of the University of Sao Paulo for the purpose of developing a streamlined hearing aid delivery model as an alternative to the system currently employed by government clinics.

India, 2006-2010 - World Wide Hearing and the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India, worked together to try to solve the problem of how to identify people with hearing impairment in poor, rural areas using teachers and community healthcare workers who were trained in audiometric techniques. The pilot succeeded in fitting 760 hearing aids on local people who would otherwise have not been able to obtain one. The same comparative economic studies conducted in China were also conducted in India. They showed similar costs at primary/secondary level as at tertiary level. The World Wide Hearing approach of shifting hearing health care from hospitals and clinics to community-based provision was found to work successfully when compared to traditional models.

The Philippines, 2007-2010 - World Wide Hearing provided expertise to the organization Better Hearing Philippines, in order to help them secure funding (from Lions Club International) to implement a project in the Manila area. Along with distributing approximately four hundred hearing aids, the project included hearing-impairment training for community healthcare workers.