Safaricom through its Foundation is set to benefit at least 240 people with ear surgeries across 8 regions. The surgeries are being conducted in partnership with the Operation Ear Drop and is targeted at needy children with hearing impairment that requires surgery. Aldults will also be able to benefit from the surgeries.
The surgeries have already take place in Kisii where 14 sugeries were done last month, this month the exercise took place at the Nanyuki Teaching and Rererral hospital. In Nanyuki at least 54 people have confirmed surgeries, the area was selected due to a lack of capacity for the referral hospital to conduct ear surgeries. The third one will be in Kisumu in December. In regards to which other areas that the surgeries will be conducted, Operation Ear Drop are still mapping out the areas to benefit next year and will announce them in due course.
For those who want to know how them or their loved ones can benefit from the operations, apparently this initiative works with the main public hospitals in the region. This helps them identify the list of beneficiaries. A notice is issued a month prior to the surgeries where free Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) screening is conducted. This is when those who require surgeries are identified.
The World Health Organisation estimates that there are 360million people globally with disabling hearing loss. 328million or 91 percent of these are adults while the rest are children. In Kenya, it is estimated that there are 600,000 people who are deaf. Immunisation against childhood diseases, improving antenatal and perinatal care including promotion of safe childbirth, following healthy ear care practices and reducing exposure to loud sounds can prevent half of all cases of hearing impairment according to the World Health Organisation.
The Safaricom Foundation has committed Kshs. 3,356,000 towards screening, surgeries and after care for ENT patients in the eight regions across Kenya.