, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Medics now say chances of being born with deafness are higher than being born with a heart defect.
According to Dr Chemi Olende, Chairperson of Operations Ear Drop, speech delay is the most common sign of hearing defects.
Speaking at the launch of UUNET Ear Walk on Friday, Dr Olende said some children also develop hearing problems later in life hence the need for parents to be on the look out.
“They are the children who have an ear infection usually due to a bacteria; sometimes its due to a virus like measles and due to that infection they develop a hole in the ear drum,” Dr Olende explained.
UUNET Managing Director, Tom Omariba said this year’s ear walk aims to raise Sh6 million to help about 600 children with hearing impairment.
“It has been indicated to me that on that occasion the actual screening will be done to any child who has problems so that they can be helped. I look forward to that time when somebody will stand up and say I am who I am today because I got help from the UUNET ear walk 20 years ago,” Mr Omariba said.
Capital Group General Manager Cyrus Kamau called on Kenyans to come out in large numbers to support the UUNET Ear walk.
“If people don’t hear what you are saying we cannot go anywhere. As a station we have decided to embark fully on supporting this initiative because the power of people doing whatever they do in an economy is very much dependent on the ability to hear,” Mr Kamau said.
The initiative has already raised about Sh2.2 million from corporates with Capital FM giving Sh 900,000.
UUNET Ear walk is an annual initiative that began three years ago. In the first year about Sh1.7 million was collected from the 10 kilometer walk while Sh 3 million was raised in last years walk.