Kenya (MNN) — Treating hearing loss for children is
complicated in countries that have access to the newest technologies, but
imagine how much bigger the challenge is in developing nations.
In sub-Saharan Africa, over 102 million
children aged 5-14 suffer from moderate to severe hearing loss. In Kenya, of
the approximately 13,000 children currently in deaf schools, more than 5,000
are believed to have correctable hearing loss.
If the loss goes untreated, the
prospects for these children are bleak. That's why Dr. Thomas Boeve, an Ear, Nose and
Throat specialist, and his wife Jolene, a nurse and Audiology Technician, began
a full-time ENT and Audiology Department at Kijabe Hospital where they serve
through Africa Inland Mission. Their goal is early detection of hearing loss,
and age and disease appropriate treatment to correct the disability.
They also helped establish the Ears to
Hear project to provide quality solar-powered hearing aids and to
develop a state-of-the-art testing and treatment facility in Kijabe. When fully funded, this facility will bring lifelong benefit to some of the poorest
people in the world, reaching far into sub-Saharan Africa.
The facility is $66,470
away from that goal.
However, the building
project is in progress. Plans have
been drawn up and discussed. The
team is looking forward to an expansion of three more rooms and a quiet
audiology room to add to the ENT clinic.
mission, aside from assisting persons with hearing loss and helping to correct
the disability, is to share the love of Christ and the Word of God with their
patients. Says Jolene, "It is pure joy to see the first smile on a child's face
after putting a hearing aid on them."