The Vintage Hearing Foundation (VHF) has donated 20 hearing aids to hearing impaired patients and called for a national policy on hearing.
The founder of the Foundation, Omotunde Balogun, while presenting the aids in Abuja over the weekend, said alot of Nigerians suffer from profound hearing loss.
She called for a policy to ensure hearing tests are carried out on children of school age to address challenges at an early stage.
She said profound and severe hearing loss is quite common in Nigeria instead of the mild hearing loss that is obtained in other countries.
She disclosed that one hearing aid for profound hearing impairment goes for about N1.5m.
Omotunde said the causes of hearing loss are traceable to the problems that women face during child birth.
Lamenting paucity of funds to procure hearing aids, which she said are quite expensive, Omotunde said the Rotary Hearing Action Group supports with donation to help the Foundation meet its targets.
She said the Foundation gives out those hearing aids to patients from across Nigeria.
She said the reason for giving out only 20 hearing aids was because most of the patients have profound or severe hearing impairment while those available were for mild hearing losses.
She, however, disclosed that the Foundation was expecting 40 more hearing aids from the Rotary Hearing Action to take care of profound hearing losses.
She said the Foundation plans to distribute another 100 hearing aids in Edo State as well.
She said most Nigerians don’t even know they have hearing disability and, therefore, appealed for funds to be able to carry out tests and give out batteries to recipients.
“We are getting them free but we need money to distribute them. That is to do the testing and provide batteries,” she said
Omotunde said at the onset, Vintage Hearing Foundation was working with Starkey Hearing Foundation of Minnesota during their medical mission in Nigeria and they were also networking to increase their outreach in Nigeria. However, when Starkey stopped coming to Nigeria because of COVID-19, Vintage Hearing Foundation decided to go solo.
Some of the beneficiaries, who include Mr Akinboye Claudius-Cole and Mrs Francisca Omolaiye, thanked the Foundation for providing them with the hearing aids.
They both expressed relief for the aids, noting that with them, they can hear things hitherto unheard.