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WPDI and Starkey Hearing Foundation Bring Community-Based Hearing Health Care to Gulu, Uganda
November 2, 2016
WPDI has partnered with Starkey Hearing Foundation to bring the WFA® Community-Based Hearing HealthCare Model to Northern Uganda. Over the past 30 years, Starkey Hearing Foundation has worked in more than a hundred countries, providing over 1.9 million individuals with the gift of hearing. Starkey annually provides more than 200,000 free hearing aids and care to children, women and men around the world.
Starkey’s AfterCare program is an initiative organized in communities where the Starkey team has already completed hearing-aid fittings. Under this program, community members are trained to be a healthcare resource for the hearing aid recipients. AfterCare volunteers are equipped to provide education and hearing aid assistance for patients and to identify new candidates for hearing aids.
This year, 15 WPDI youth peacemakers in Gulu, Uganda were trained as AfterCare technicians during a five-day session conducted by representatives from Starkey. The trainees were able to gain hands-on experience with the various tasks they would perform as After-Care technicians, including patient registration, counseling, autoscopy, and hearing aid troubleshooting.
With Starkey’s help, WPDI recently opened an AfterCare location at our Community Learning Center in Gulu. WPDI Community Learning Centers are established in our communities of action and provide literacy, technology, and business classes that are free and open to the public. So far, these centers have proven to be a hub of community activity and involvement.
Many individuals in Gulu were impacted by Uganda’s civil war. Thousands of former child soldiers live in area, many of whom had their hearing damage by exploding shells during the war. WPDI’s AfterCare team members are already engaged in outreach and support to identify community members who could benefit from Starkey’s services.