Key Facts & Figures
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, 34 million of these are children.
- Over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss by 2050.
- About 20% of people who have hearing loss require hearing aids are in developing countries.
- Unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$750 billion
- The current production of hearing aids meets less than 10% of the worldwide need.
- 72 million potential hearing aid users worldwide.
- Specialists in the Arab countries believe that deafness and hearing problems are among the top five health problems that affect the residents of the region.
- 3% of people suffering from disabling hearing loss are MENA region residents.
Refugees with hearing problems face significant challenges to connect to those around them and participate in community life, gain a quality education, and have access to the job market. The project intends to improve the lives of refugees with hearing impairment by giving them an equal chance to learn, work, connect with their surroundings, and enhance their social interactions.
Based on the above facts, United Mission for Relief and Development (UMR) has been working to provide hearing aid for people struggling with hearing impairment. UMR provided through this project hearing aid devices to those who can’t afford to purchase the item. UMR organized a fundraising campaign in the US. The project had zero overhead expenses, and all the money donated was fully allocated to buying hearing devices.
UMR established a partnership with Community Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled/ Gaza camp (CRCD) – UNRWA, which works to integrate persons with disabilities in their communities and to improve their living conditions. The center helped UMR by offering its local program team and through conducting the need assessment for the project. UMR also partnered with Phonak Jordan, which provided a generous discount on the hearing devices and performed all medical examinations, measurements, and modeling before the devices distribution. It offered 2 years of device maintenance and monitoring in Jordan.
UMR’s Hearing Aid project targeted Palestinian refugees in Gaza/Jerash camp and Syrian refugees in random camps in Al-Mafraq who have no health benefits and social security number.
Jerash/Gaza camp is the poorest among the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan. 52.7 percent of Palestine refugees having an income below the national poverty line of JD 814. Jerash camp has the highest number of Palestine refugees who don’t have health insurance. Residents of Jerash camp face staggering rates of unemployment, violence, disgraceful housing conditions, and health problems. Many refugees suffer from hearing impairment issues. They often refer to themselves as “forgotten people” and live in isolation and neglect as they don’t have access to 85% of jobs types. Refugees with hearing problems have few prospects for finding a job, having an education, or having natural communicative interactions.
This project provided devices to 87 beneficiaries who are Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Next: Wajir County
In 2020 UMR will provide Wajir county in Kenya with hearing aids. The project will target those who are most at risk, including the elderly, people with disabilities, children, and those who do not have access to medical care or unable to afford it.