The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 600 million people, of whom two-thirds are living in developing countries are hearing impaired. The principle reason hearing impairment is so prevalent is due to the lack of any detection as well as dearth of trained professionals to offer any treatment or therapy. The extent of hearing loss leads to unnecessary poverty and hardship in the families and communities affected, and by extension, to the larger society. It also costs governments up to 3% of their Gross National Product (GNP).

The first social business SBE has been working on for the last year is a project in effort to respond to problems related to hearing loss and hearing impairments in developing countries and particularly in Bangladesh. 400 million people who have hearing problems live in developing countries. In order to meet the needs of these people 6 million hearing aids are produced each year but only 12% reaches the developing countries. Hearing defects have a very strong social impact, limiting learning abilities in childhood and employment in adulthood. Having access to good quality hearing aids at a minimum price for poor people is difficult in developing countries and having a cochlear implant when plagued by more severe hearing loss is even more difficult. As a result children who are disadvantaged and not well-off may remain disabled for life because they cannot afford a hearing aid. This problem affects many developing countries, but following an exploratory mission Bangladesh was identified as a country that has very few facilities that implant hearing aids and almost none that perform cochlear implant surgeries.

We expect to address the problem by opening a facility that provides treatment of hearing impairments in the poorest and most disadvantaged population of Bangladesh with a focus on children, selecting specialized teams of professionals who will conduct proper diagnosis, hearing aids fitting, speech therapy and if feasible cochlear implant surgery.

If you are interested in cooperating with us or investing in the creation of the ENT Social Business in Bangladesh please contact us. Thank you!

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