Hearing screening project in rural areas

The objective of the nonprofit organization Sound for Silence is to give children with hearing loss living in rural parts of South Africa the chance to access audiological care. With help from the Hear the World Foundation, a program for early diagnosis of hearing loss in infants and toddlers is now being set up in Ficksburg and the neighboring township of Meqheleng.

Place & Year

South Africa, 2014

Project Partners

Sound for Silence NPC


Technology Funding

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.

The earlier hearing loss is diagnosed and treated in infants and toddlers, the better chance they will have of developing at an appropriate rate for their age. With this in mind, Sound for Silence has launched an early diagnosis project: “The Rural Infant Hearing Screening Project”. This ensures that all babies at the clinics in Ficksburg and its surrounding area undergo a hearing screening when they receive their obligatory vaccinations. If the hearing screenings show any unusual results, further  audiological examinations are recommended. The Hear the World Foundation is providing the project with both financial support and audiological equipment.

Early detection ensures age-appropriate development

If the follow-up examinations result in a diagnosis of hearing loss, the affected child is provided with hearing aids or – if necessary – a cochlear implant. Speech therapy is organized alongside a continuous care program. With this unique support, the children of Ficksburg and the surrounding area have the chance to develop at an appropriate rate for their age in spite of their hearing loss.