Hearing aids for people in need in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho

The landlocked mountain country of Lesotho in southern Africa is facing tremendous social and economic challenges. The main issues affecting the country are poverty, lack of education, and HIV/AIDS. The country has nearly 200,000 orphans for an overall population of just 2 million.

People with disabilities in the country of course also face major challenges in terms of education, integration and healthcare. There are no reliable data on the prevalence of hearing loss in Lesotho, but levels of screening and care are known to be very low. Given the local situation, many charities are active in Lesotho to assist people in need, and one of them, Sentebale which means “forget-me-not” in the Sesotho language, recently launched a program to provide 500 children, adolescents and adults with hearing aids. The initiative allowed many of these people to hear for the first time.

The charity, sponsored by Prince Harry of England and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, aims to help the most vulnerable children of the country to get the support they need to lead healthy productive lives. “Unless we think big, unless we are ambitious, nothing will change,” Prince Harry is quoted as saying concerning the charity’s missions. Sentebale teamed up with the Starkey Hearing Foundation based in the US to provide the hearing aids. The Starkey Foundation is active globally and has fitted 1,000,000 hearing aids to people in need worldwide.

Source: Examiner.com; Sentebale.org; Starkeyhearingfoundation.org

C.S.