A new Hearing Care Service in Tanzania
Contact leader for the project
SINTEF, NTNU, Open University of Tanzania (OUT) and Patandi Teachers College aim to assist hearing impaired children to attend school and participate in society, and to reduce poverty by ensuring access to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for children with hearing impairments in Tanzania. Due to limited number of specialists and audiologists, lack of locally available hearing aids and services and limited financial resources in low-income countries, hearing loss is frequently left undetected and children with hearing impairment are left out of school. Furthermore, low-income countries are often dependent upon international financial support and donations of hearing aids, and individual fitting, follow up and corrections are often lacking. It is experienced that technology and services designed for high-income countries are not appropriate for low-income settings and the services are not sustainable in the long-term perspective. A Feasibility study confirmed that few Tanzanian children are screened for hearing impairment, caused by limited number of trained personnel and lack of appropriate screening tools and hearing aids. The project objectives are to develop innovative Game Based Screening tools and a new innovative hearing device, that will facilitate the development of sustainable community-based hearing services being locally available at schools and clinics in Tanzania. The development and testing of the new screening tools are iterative processes reflecting the users' needs and the local context of the target population. The Game Based Screening tools will be available on tablet computers including headphones, and the hearing device will be based on headphones with integrated microphones and audio processor. The project ensures user involvement and promote the philosophy of "Nothing About Us Without Us" and "Leaving no one behind", supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.