A man has been able to properly hear again for the first time in 15 years thanks to Audiology students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Kishorbahi Kothari was one of hundreds of people in India who had hearing tests run by the students who travelled to Rajkot in Gujarat with 1,000 reconditioned hearing aids.
Tests revealed he had very little hearing in his left ear and none in his right ear, which left him struggling to hear conversations.
He said: “For 15 years I couldn't listen, I couldn't hear. Now I can hear you normally. After a few days I will reconnect with people around me. previously there was no response, I did not hear. Now I can listen nicely.
“This is good for me and you are doing good for mankind. For your entire staff, for your country, I am thankful.”
The team ran free sessions in a hospital in Wankaner over three days, which saw crowds of people queue for free tests. In all more than 200 people were seen and more than 80 hearing aids fitted.
They also travelled to the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad which is being supported by DMU Square Mile India, a special fund set up at DMU to help pay towards living costs for children in the ashram.
Many come from backgrounds of extreme poverty, and thanks to the support of staff and students are being helped to a brighter future.
Students and staff were able to screen more than 80 youngsters from the ashram and found three children who needed hearing aids.
The hearing aids were donated by customers of Amplifon, a company which employs more than 5,500 hearing care professionals. Amplifon assessed, cleaned and reprogrammed the hearing aids.
Two of the students on the trip are Foundation Degree Audiology students Emma Haouche and Jennifer Spindler, who work for Amplifon.
The pair, who graduate in January, were able to put their skills into practice by offering hearing tests and fitting the donated hearing aids.
Wendy Stevens, senior audiology lecturer at DMU, helped organize the trip along with her colleague, audiology lecturer Dr Jeff Davies, said the experience was invaluable.
She added: “Hearing screening projects can transform the lives of people in poorer communities. Hearing loss can be very isolating, so being able to screen for hearing loss and fit hearing aids through programmes like Square Mile India can have a huge impact on people’s lives.”
Commenting on the India trip, Giuseppe Manzo, Market Director at Amplifon said: “We’re extremely proud Emma and Jennifer have been given the opportunity to put their skills as an Audiologist into practice in India.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to build on their knowledge and work with people in different communities.
“Amplifon has strong links with De Montfort, which provides a training course for our Audiologists, so we’re delighted to be able to support their Square Mile India project by providing reconditioned hearing aids kindly donated by our customers.”
Posted on Thursday 15th December 2016