Digital Hearing Aid Program with Rotary Club of Mosman NSW

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Service Projects & Activities | 0 comments

A Silent World No More                          

Statistics show that a huge number of Filipinos have hearing disability. Based on a 2003 joint study by the Department of Health and the University of the Philippines, impairment of auditory nerve ranked second with 33 percent to motor weaknesses at 39% among physical challenges that ail children and adults in the country. All over the world, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), 287 million individuals are suffering from inability to perceive sound. In another research conducted by Better Hearing Philippines, Inc., the prevalence of defects, was registered at 28 percent. Primary causes of hearing loss pointed out were otitis media, otitis externa, infectious as well as non-infectious diseases, intake of certain medicines and old age.

Acute otitis media (AOM) is one of the leading ailments among Filipino children aged three and below, with about Ph5.7billion, per WHO report, being spent for the treatment of those afflicted with the condition. AOM is acquired when the middle ear gets infected and inflamed. If not treated properly, it develops into a more chronic and severe condition which leads to deafness and other serious diseases.

The Club handed over to the beneficiaries a total of 80 digital hearing aids that feature a more sophisticated, digital signal processing technology. The hearing aids, costing $800 per unit, were donated by the people of Australia through RC of Mosman. Prior to receipt of the hearing aids, the beneficiaries, who are from indigent families, have undergone audiometry and speech tests at MENTOR located at the Capitol University Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City.
Former governor Low conveyed his compassion to the beneficiaries, understanding their plight, describing their disability as most difficult and most likely, an overlooked health concern in the country. “Loss of hearing is a hidden disability where persons look very normal but hard to recognize their problem,” he said. Low also stated during the orientation program that it is also necessary to maintain coordination with the family of each patient as it would require several visits or consultations as each hearing aid has to be custom-fitted so they can eventually become comfortable in using them.


A Service Project of the Rotary Club of East Urban
In partnership with the Rotary Club of Mosman, Australia and the Mindanao Ear-Nose-Throat Out-patient Rehabilitation Center (MENTOR), the Club initiated a service project that gives away digital hearing aids to Northern Mindanao residents who have problems with their auditory sense, aiming to help bring down the number of children and adults confronted with this affliction in the country. The project was also made possible with the efforts of Past District Governor Bing Juarez and Past District Governor Danny Low and spouse Dr. Angeline of RC Mosman.


(Above) Ceremonial turn-over of 80 units hearing aid for indigent children and adults. From PDG Danny and Dr. Angeline Low of the Rotary Club of Mosman, Australia (5th & 4th from right) to Dr. Jesus M. Jardin, Medical Director of MENTOR. Witnessing the endorsement are (l-r) PDG Bing R. Juarez, PP Sarah Borja, Rtn. Bing Dacudao, Audiometrician Joy Umaran, Rtn. Becky P. Esguerra, Rtn. Imee van der Born, and; PAG Bebotte Chu.


(Above photo) Recipients come from as far as Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. Here they pose for a souvenir photo with donor PDG Danny Low (center), and PDG Bing Juarez and PP Bing Aton (standing 4th & 2nd from the right), along with audiometricians of the Capitol University Medical Center



“Give the gifts of time, talent, and knowledge to improve lives in communities across the globe. Through Rotary, we can take these gifts and make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in our world.” – RI President K.R. Ravindran


Picture11Recipients young and old. (Above) Xiena Maris Bay-agan, 4yrs old and (right) Leonor Natural, 82 yrs old from Libona, Bukidnon.

Philippines, there is a shortage of hearing specialists in the country. With a population of 100 million, there are only around 400 otorhinolaryngology specialists, a ratio much lower compared to the presence of this equal number of experts in Malaysia which has 25 million people. More unfortunate is the fact that a huge percentage of the patients belong to the underprivileged sector who cannot afford the price of the hearing aid as well as the proper treatment from the specialists.

Hence, the RCEU’s service project is really needed in the country and a huge blessing for the beneficiaries whose smiles convey their gratefulness that cannot be translated into words. They know the gifts they received have greatly transformed their lives. They can now listen to the sweet chirps of the birds every morning, experience the wonder of music and, most converse with their loved ones.

For the Rotarians, this is another manifestation of their commitment to “Service above Self” in the fulfillment of their mission to “Be a Gift to the World.”

(This article written by Rtn. Becky P. Esguerra was published with corresponding photos in Philippine Rotary Magazine, December issue, pages 29&30)


Club History

The club started with ladies who were not just acquaintances but close friends. They decided to give meaning to this closeness, thus the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro East Urban was born.