#hearafrica

Innovative telemedicine

Three physicians from Nigeria, Malawi and South Africa want to improve the care of people with hearing loss in Africa. The Hearing Health Care Consortium aims to enable the transfer of audiological knowledge via the establishment of a telemedicine network. The project receives financial support from the foundation.

Place & Year

Nigeria, Malawi, South Africa, 2012

Project Partners

Children Care Consortium

Awards

Richard Seewald Award

Support

Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

In developing countries, people with hearing loss need professional yet affordable audiological care that covers as wide an area as possible. This calls for innovative solutions, which is why three scientists from Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa – with the help of the Hear the World Foundation – are currently developing a telemedicine system for the African continent. With KUDUwave a mobile device for taking audiometric measurements, voluntary helpers will be able to perform accurate hearing tests in remote regions in future. This method represents a scientific milestone. Experienced experts will monitor and check the test results over the Internet, guaranteeing that patients receive professional care, without the need for an expert directly on site.

Hearing healthcare for the African continent

The equipment is currently being tested at a school in Nigeria, with the trials set to be extended to Malawi and South Africa at a later stage. The aim of the research project is to develop sustainable methods for use across the entire African continent. Another member of the Hear the World Foundation’s Advisory Board, Professor John Bamford, recently visited the project and described it enthusiastically as “a really exciting project with enormous potential – both for developing countries and for countries in the first world!”


The Hear the World Foundation's prize is named after Professor Dr. Richard Seewald, who is well known for his tireless efforts in pediatric audiology over many decades. He spearheaded the development of an internationally recognized DSL method for fitting hearing systems to children. Prior to his retirement, Seewald held the Canada Research Chair in Childhood Hearing at that country's National Centre for Audiology, which he co-founded. He is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Western Ontario.