Over 500 people in the Kumasi Metropolis have benefited from a free hearing screening exercise organized jointly by the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Directorate of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Starkey Hearing Foundation is a global organization, committed to helping people with hearing problems to have access to hearing aids and customized earmolds.

Health professionals from seven African countries – Ghana, Zambia, Madagascar, Kenya, Gambia, Ethiopia and Malawi, were on hand to provide the hearing services.
Dr. Joseph Opoku Buabeng, Consultant/ENT Surgeon at the KATH, said the goal was to identify people with hearing loss and provide them with free hearing devices.

Patients found with diseases that caused the hearing impairment, were also treated.
He added that those, whose condition could not be managed or corrected through surgery were supplied with hearing devices.
Dr. Buabeng indicated that the devices were expensive and often way beyond the pocket of ordinary persons with hearing problems.

He advised parents to make sure their new born babies were screened at birth for early detection of any hearing problems for early treatment.
He spoke of plans by the Health Ministry to introduce a neonatal screening policy under which every child would go through hearing screening.

Dr. Alfred Mwamba, Executive Director of Starkey Hearing Institute in Zambia, an institution which trains hearing instrument specialists for sub-Sharan African countries, made reference to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) that, about two million Ghanaians had disabling hearing loss, and said that called for more ENT doctors and nurses.
He underlined the need to train more audiologists to cater for the hearing needs of the population.
He called for vaccination against meningitis, school screening programmes and helping medical personnel to properly treat ear infections.

The Foundation, had earlier organized a two-day training programme for in excess of 30 ENT doctors and nurses, together with teachers selected from the Kumasi School for the deaf.
They were taught how to efficiently handle hearing cases and the use of hearing aids to support patients.
The free screening and training were funded by Starkey Hearing Technologies and other donor partners including Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton of the United States (US).