OPERATION EAR DROP
Globally, there are 360million people with disabling hearing loss according to the World Health Organisation. This represents 5.3 percent of the world population.
328million or 91 percent of these are adults while the rest are children. The deaf population in Kenya is estimated to be at least 600,000.
Majority of them have been excluded from educational opportunities which translates to exclusion from communication. This can have a significant impact on everyday life causing feelings of loneliness, isolation and frustration especially among older people.
According to the World Health Organisation, the major causes of hearing impairment are genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, use of particular drugs and exposure to excessive noise and ageing.
Safaricom Foundation partnered with Operation Ear Drop to conduct free ear surgeries in eight counties across Kenya at a cost of Kshs. 3,356,000.
The beneficiary counties include Laikipia, Kisii, Kisumu, Nakuru, Embu, Kakamega, Nyeri and Machakos.
The Kisumu outreach was the third after Kisii and Laikipia.
At the completion of the project, at least 240 people in eight counties with hearing impairment will have their hearing restored thus opening up their life opportunities. Over 80 patients have so far been reached in Kisii, Laikipia and Kisumu counties.