Hear the World Foundation Donates Cochlear Implants for the First Time

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Disadvantaged children with profound hearing loss receive the gift of hearing in Panama

Underprivileged children with profound hearing loss in Panama will get the gift of hearing thanks to Hear the World Foundation

“The first cochlear implants donation is an important step for us,” says Lukas Braunschweiler, President of the Hear the World Foundation.

The Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova initiative, will for the first time support an aid project with the donation of cochlear implants. In February 2017, the first three children with profound hearing loss will get the gift of hearing and thus a fair chance of leading an independent life. This engagement builds on the support the Hear the World Foundation has provided to the Panamanian non-profit organization Fundación Pro Integración since 2013 and marks another milestone in the Swiss foundation’s 10-years history.

If left untreated, hearing loss can have serious consequences, particularly for children. Children who cannot hear, or can barely hear, do not learn to speak and, in many countries, are not able to attend school, which lowers their chances of pursuing a career and leading an independent life.

First donations of cochlear implants for children with profound or total hearing loss

Until now, children who did not benefit from even the most powerful hearing aids have been denied the chance of better hearing. That is why for the first time, the Hear the World Foundation is donating cochlear implants (CI) to three Panamanian children, in collaboration with the Sonova subsidiary Advanced Bionics.

“The first cochlear implants donation is an important step for us,” says Lukas Braunschweiler, President of the Hear the World Foundation. “By leveraging another advanced technology from the Sonova product portfolio, we can now also give the gift of hearing to children with profound or total hearing loss.”

The gift of hearing where the state-run healthcare system can’t help

Although Panama is ranked the second most competitive economy in Latin America according to the World Economic Forum, 26 percent of the population is living in poverty, and is lacking access to audiological care. While the health sector is making major progress in terms of its audiological care infrastructure, the state-run healthcare system can only cover the costs of audiological care for a handful of those living in poverty.

That is why, since 2013, the Hear the World Foundation supports the Fundación pro Integración (FUNPROI), one of the few institutions in the country who closes this gap by providing ear medical care to children living in poverty. By providing hearing aids, funding and expertise, hundreds of children have been helped. In addition, FUNPROI was honored with the Richard Seewald Award in 2014, an annual recognition by the Hear the World Foundation to honor outstanding engagements.

About the Hear the World Foundation
By supporting the charitable Hear the World Foundation, Sonova is campaigning for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. As a leading provider of hearing care solutions, Sonova fosters social responsibility and contributes towards a world where everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing. For instance, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in prevention. It focuses particularly on projects for children with hearing loss, to enable them to develop at the appropriate rate for their age. Since its establishment in 2006 the Swiss foundation supported over 80 projects in 39 countries and thus helped thousands of people to hear better. More than 100 celebrity ambassadors, including celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Plácido Domingo, Annie Lennox and Sting champion the Hear the World Foundation.
http://www.hear-the-world.com/en

About Fundación Pro Integración
Fundación Pro Integración (FUNPROI) is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life and fight against isolation of people with hearing loss and mobility disabilities in Panama. FUNPROI pays special attention to assist individuals with scarce resources and extreme levels of poverty. As one of the few institutions in the country specialized in supporting young people with hearing loss, the non-governmental institution provides free examinations and professional audiological care with hearing aids and speech therapy. In 2014 FUNPROI received the Richard-Seewald-Award by the Hear the World Foundation in recognition of their exceptional engagement.
http://www.funproi.org

Further information about the project:
https://www.hear-the-world.com/de/engagement/aid-projects/continents/north-america/panama-giving-panamanian-children-the-gift-of-hearing

Background information about the cochlea implant: http://advancedbionics.com/com/en/your_journey/what_is_a_cochlearimplantsystem.html

For high resolution picture material and further information please contact:

Hear the World Foundation
Louise Kaben
E-Mail: louise(dot)kaben(at)hear-the-world(dot)com     
Phone +41 58 928 01 01

US Public Relations
Beth Fichtel
E-mail: brgelbert(at)yahoo(dot)com
Phone: +1 (914) 588-2695

Cassandra Hegarty
E-mail: cassandra(dot)hegarty(at)gmail(dot)com
Phone: +1 (917) 653-4038

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Cassandra Hegarty
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