By Daniel Ayantoye
A United State based foundation – Starkey hearing foundation has commenced the distribution of hearing aide device worth 5billion naira in six states in Nigeria.
The states are Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Enugu and Kaduna.
In Kwara, the foundation distributed free hearing aid device worth N700m to beneficiaries during a two-day programme held at the state Banquet Hall, last Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Director, Global Health and Research of the foundation, Dr. Luqman Lawan, who made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen on sideline of the flag off of the distribution in Ilorin on Tuesday, said that about 850 people benefitted from the programme in Kwara State.
According to him, No fewer than 1,000 people were given free hearing aid device in Lagos State, 800 in Ogun, 1,000 and 250 in Kaduna and Abia States respectively while 400 benefited in Enugu State.
He disclosed that the programme is funded by the foundation in collaboration with Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, adding that the various state governments provided the requited health facilities.
Earlier in his address, Lawan said that the initiative is targeted at providing hearing aid device to vulnerable people whose hearing are impaired.
“This initiative is targeted at assisting people with hearing impairment with provision of hearing aid. The device cost half a million but with this initiative those who can’t afford it will be able to get it free,” he explained.
Lawal noted that the ear is a vital part of the body hence the need for NGOs to take a cue from the initiative by coming up with similar projects..
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has commended the foundation for the initiative.
The Governor, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Sulaiman Atolagbe Alege, stated that the programme is in tandem with the shared prosperity programme of the administration.
He, however, enjoined beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity.
Speaking with Pilot Health, some of the beneficiaries expressed satisfaction with the programme and lauded the foundation for bringing it to Kwara State.
Mrs Ejiro Patrick said the device has improved the hearing capability of her son, who had ear problem.
Also, Rev. Sam Ajayi, Proprietor of Ojuoluwatoomore School for Special Needs, who was there with five of his students, said “I can see improvement unlike before they now respond better.”
Similarly, the head master of Nana Aishat Memorial Nusery & Primary School for Special Needs Alagbado area, who brought some pupils, said “We have 36 of them who have hearing problem and we hope that this initiative will make great difference”