Project Description HEAR AFRICA! - Extending educational opportunities for hearing impaired children in Africa

IMPROVING THE LIVES OF HEARING IMPAIRED CHILDREN

Child speech and language acquisition depends on intact hearing. Late diagnosis of hearing impaired children decreases their chances for successful education and life quality massively. Identification and care of hearing impaired children in Africa is delayed to the age of 3-5 or even school-age due to a lack of infrastructure and qualified professionals in early identification and treatment.

HEAR Africa! aims of enable early identification and treatment of children with hearing impairment.  Early identification, hearing aids supply and speech and language therapy reduce the negative long-ranging consequences of this disorder.

PLANNED ACTIONS

HEAR Africa! efforts are first concentrated on Tanzania the partner country of the German state Lower Saxony.

Planned actions are:

  • Building and implementing an interdisciplinary network for screening, diagnosis and therapeutic care of hearing impaired children, e.g.:
    • Introducing newborn hearing screening
    • Implementing cochlea-implant care
    • Building up speech and language services for children with hearing impairment
  • Capacity building: Supporting existing institutions and structures caring for hearing impaired children (e.g.: training doctors, audiologists and speech and language therapists)

HEAR Africa! is a joined project of Leibniz Lab for Relational Communication Research and the German Hearing Centre at the Medical School Hannover (Prof. Thomas Lenarz and team).

HEAR AFRICA! PROJECT STATUS

In 2019/2020 the HEAR AFRICA! pilot study is on its way. 5000 newborn babies are being examined within a newborn hearing screening which is implemented for the first time by our two collaborating partners (Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences - MUHAS and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre - KCMC).