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The hearing care in Myanmar is inadequate. In total, there is only one health professional per 1700 inhabitants and only a small number of these are audiology specialists. Together with the English organization Mandalay School for the Deaf, the Hear the World Foundation wants to improve hearing care for children in Myanmar.

Place & Year

Myanmar, 2017-2018


Technology Funding Knowledge

Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

The Southeast Asian state Myanmar was under military rule until just a few years ago. The country has only had a civilian president since 2011. This has made the system more stable, but healthcare in Myanmar still has shortcomings. Particularly in the field of hearing care, there are only a few professionals and these are mainly stationed in the larger cities. As a result, the rural population has little access to hearing care.

Together with its project partner Mandalay School for the Deaf, the Hear the World Foundation wants to improve this situation and to provide access for children with hearing loss in Myanmar’s rural areas. Mandalay School for the Deaf supports two schools in Myanmar: one in the regional capital, Yangon, and one in Mandalay. The main objective of the project is to provide care for children with hearing loss, so they can achieve age-appropriate development and thus also get equal opportunities. In order to accomplish this, Hear the World is donating hearing aids, and Sonova volunteers are aiding the project with voluntary work.

From lessons on the veranda to a school for 200 children

Mandalay School for the Deaf was founded about 50 years ago by Sandy Smith of England. At that time, the only school for children with hearing loss was over 600 kilometers away, in Yangon (then called Rangoon). This trained teacher of the deaf considered it her task to help the deaf children in the region. She began to distribute flyers, on which she wrote that she can help deaf children. Soon afterwards, she was teaching sign language to the first children on the veranda at her home.

In the following years, the school grew and was taken over by the state. Today, over 200 children attend this school and many of them now also wear hearing aids. Several times each year, a team of audiologists and otolaryngologists from Great Britain travel to Myanmar together with Hear the World volunteers, so as to provide the children with audiological care and to train local professionals.