Hearing loss, untreated in a country’s populace can retard the growth of a country’s economy. This can pose a serious issue in developing countries where a social stigma is attached to hearing loss.
The Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, in its advocacy for equal opportunities and choices for persons with disabilities, has implemented a modernized audiology clinic to its centre.
Canadian hearing aid specialist, Patrick Christian, has been collaborating with his country of birth, Guyana, in a variety of audiology ventures, the most recent being Ptolemy Reid’s audiology clinic.
Whilst Christian has been in the audiology business for 35 years, his partnership with Guyana extends to a lengthy period of 25 years.
Christian explained that hearing loss often stems from aging and that there is a social stigma attached to the concept of aging in the country. He added that the field lacks public awareness, as hearing health is most often not placed centre stage by citizens.
According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), 360 million people in the world have disabling hearing impairments; two-thirds of these cases were found to have originated in developing countries like Guyana. It was found that 10 percent of these cases were children.
These alarming numbers, are a cause for concern; the lack of sobriety with which hearing loss is often regarded is to be held culpable for these statistics, said Christian.
Christian is hoping that with this clinic, society will become more aware and receptive to the issue of hearing loss. He said that whilst emphasis is being placed on other ills in society, hearing loss is being neglected.
He further added that his commitment to the issue in Guyana is a long-standing one. He applauded the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, for its advocacy of equal opportunities for disabled individuals and its focus on an issue that is often benignly neglected.
The Ptolemy Reid clinic offered free hearing tests last week. It also offered digitally programmed hearing aids as well as other types. The clinic now has a hearing-testing booth, a machine that has radically changed the way tests are done.
Christian was in the process of setting up an elderly woman’s hearing aids during the interview. To the observer, it may have seemed as if it was an ordinary procedure, however, this was not the case. Christian was imparting a gift that this woman had longed to experience for many years– a connection to a world that she yearned to fully experience.
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