Impaired UPDF Soldiers Receive Hearing Aids

A person with hearing impairments being screened.

Twenty three Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers attached to Mubende Rehabilitation centre have received hearing devices worth 92 million Shillings, thanks to Starkey Hearing Foundation. 

The soldiers received the devices at a two day’s health camp held at Narambhai Road Primary School in Jinja district. 

The beneficiaries are former AMISOM fighters who suffered hearing impairments following consistent exposure to explosions in war-torn Somalia. One of the beneficiaries told URN on condition of anonymity that he has been living with hearing problems for the past four years.

“I represented my country under AMISOM and one day a bomb exploded near our camp, which cost me both ears. I could only lip-read to understand what my colleagues are discussing,” he said. 

He added that his commanders had dumped him at the rehabilitation centre without any hope of ever hearing again. 

Mohammed Kyesirikide, the Country Director Starkey Hearing Foundation, says the soldiers have been sensitized on the proper management of the hearing aid and they will freely access batteries and replacement services.

He advises the army to deploy a standby otolaryngologist mandated with managing hearing impairments in war zones.

Also, 527 members of the public from different parts of Busoga region have been fitted with hearing aids.

Kyesirikidde says Starkey Hearing Foundation conducted a study in Jinja, Kamuli and Iganga districts, which confirmed that 85% of the hearing impairment cases result in poor management.

A report by World Health Organization confirms that 360 million people across the globe suffer hearing loss due to either exposure to unfriendly sounds or failure to treat infections.          

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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