Express News

‘Invisible epidemic’ probed

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Approximately four million South Africans suffer from hearing loss.

This is according to a study by HearX, a South African business incubation programme that provides a digital health solution to low-income earners’ problems when accessing quality hearing screening and hearing aids.

The study revealed that in a vast continent such as Africa, 90% of affected persons do not have access to hearing-related care.

Described as an invisible epidemic, the impact that hearing loss could have and the importance of healthy hearing were highlighted on World Hearing Day, which was observed on Wednesday, 3 March.

It raised awareness of the prevention of deafness and hearing loss, and the promotion of ear and hearing care across the world.

“The experience of hearing loss can be a very lonely and isolating one, because humans are inherently sociable creatures,” said Prof. De Wet Swanepoel of HearX, an entrepreneur who graduated from the Innovation Hub’s Maxum Smart business incubation programme in 2017.

“The modern world, especially in low-income communities, is still lagging in catering to the special needs of people who suffer from hearing loss.”

It was found that 8% of people with disabling hearing loss live in low and middle-income countries.

According to Swanepoel, HearX is exploring the introduction of financing solutions such as subscription-based models facilitated by mobile money payments with an award from the Assistive Tech Impact Fund.

“We believe in healthy hearing for everyone, everywhere.”

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.86
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
19.80
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.75
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.16
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.0%
Gold
1,844.37
+0.1%
Silver
21.75
-0.7%
Palladium
1,968.50
-2.0%
Platinum
957.50
-1.0%
Brent Crude
112.04
+2.6%
Top 40
61,000
-1.2%
All Share
67,575
-1.0%
Resource 10
72,529
+1.6%
Industrial 25
72,948
-3.9%
Financial 15
15,746
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE