A team from hearing aid specialist South East Hearing Care Centres have recently returned from their annual summer charity mission to the Reverend Muhoro School for the Deaf, located in the remote Mukurwe-ini district, near Nyeri on the slopes of Mount Kenya.
The company, based in Horsham, Chichester and Seaford has supported the school for many years.
During that time, they have provided state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, hearing aids and batteries to the students, as well as expanding the school’s audiometric facilities.
The aim of the long-term support is to improve secondary level education provision in the area for those with hearing difficulties as well as helping them get employment and reducing levels of poverty.
Founded in 1993, the school has 240 deaf students between the ages of 14-22, and 100 able hearing students.
The 240 deaf students are educated alongside more than 100 full hearing pupils, which helps the deaf pupils to retain their power of speech – a unique pairing, which also teaches the full hearing children how to interact with someone with a disability, as well as learning the useful skill of signing. Most of the hearing impaired have lost their hearing due to ototoxic drugs, for treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis, meningitis and malaria.
Robert Davies, managing director at South East Hearing Care Centres, first heard about the project’s needs in 2002, when he met the district’s MP Mutahi Kagwe at a charity event in the UK. He was told that with no welfare system and limited state funding, the deaf school was heavily dependent on charitable support.
From the first donation of a clinical audiometer for testing hearing, the school built an audiometric room. Though rural, the testing and fitting facilities at Reverend Muhoro are probably the best in East Africa. We are kept busy at the school, holding free ear ‘clinics’ for the local community and giving expertise on many aspects of ear care. On our visits, each weekend clinic is attended by an ENT consultant, a Doctor, audiological nurse and resident audiometrician.
On this latest trip, the British team were able to equip the school with mould making facilities, along with all of the required machinery and intensive training to operate the equipment.
This has given them the ability to create their own hearing aid moulds, which can generate valuable income while helping the school become an advanced audiology centre. Previously, the process of making new moulds would have taken months, but now they can be completed in a matter of days.
Following the visit, Robert Davies said : “Having worked with the school over many summers, the growth is a delight to see and I look forward to returning in the future.”
If you would like to support South East Hearing Care Centre’s ongoing charity work, you can choose to sponsor or part sponsor a student for £250 which covers their board, uniform, meals and education. To do this, simply email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or call 01403 218863.