Prevention of blindness and deafness

Worldwide hearing care for developing countries (WWHearing)

Project objectives

  • To gather, review, collate and disseminate information on the current provision and need for hearing aids and services in different countries and regions of the developing world in order to promote the development of hearing care services.
  • To determine the constraints to providing both hearing aids and the necessary systems and services required for their effective distribution and use in developing countries, and the ways of overcoming these constraints.
  • To encourage the development of projects, including pilot projects, that would implement or improve the provision of hearing aids and services for fitting, follow-up, repair and training.
  • To enable the setting up of networks and partnerships from within the public and private sectors and civil society to provide affordable, appropriate hearing aids and accessories, and the services to fit them, in large enough numbers to satisfy the need in developing countries. The networks or partnerships could be made at the global, regional and country level. WWHearing shall set up the network or partnership at the global level but shall have a monitoring role for networks or partnerships made at the country and regional level.
  • To develop criteria in order to review projects for their appropriateness and feasibility. WWH will use these criteria to review projects and make recommendations to funding bodies as to whether such projects should be funded.
  • To develop criteria in order to monitor and evaluate any partnerships or projects approved or set up by WWHearing. WWH will use these criteria to monitor and evaluate these partnerships and projects.
  • To identify the need for and commission studies on the economic costs of hearing impairment, and studies to compare cost/effectiveness of hearing aid interventions, and to assess cost benefit to countries of early provision of hearing aids especially to children.
  • To encourage and assist all Member States of WHO to introduce hearing health services into their health planning cycle with appropriate policies, legislation, regulations and health financing to ensure equitable access to services.
  • To encourage and support all Member States of WHO to include data collection and reporting on hearing impairment, hearing handicap and hearing aid use in national and district censuses and in routine data collection.