The WHO estimates that there are over 626 million people around the world with hearing impairment with almost two thirds of them coming from low to middle income countries. With devices like hearing aids not easily accessible and affordable, total hearing health for deaf communities in developing countries and underserved communities can be a challenge.
Typically, hearing aids in Africa are sold for at lest $1,000 which is an exorbitant amount for most of the population. Even if they can afford these expensive hearing aids, the batteries for them cost $1/week which adds a significant maintenance cost. In rural Africa, finding batteries may be a challenge too. In order to address these challenges, Tendekayi Katsiga founded Deaftronics, a company that makes solar powered hearing aids and batteries. The company makes various types of hearing aids that can be charged via solar charger, a household light or a mobile phone charger. The solar charger can hold the rechargeable hearing aid or batteries. When placed in the sun, it can charge them within 4-5 hours. The rechargeable batteries can be used in 80% of the hearing aids being sold today. Deaftronics products start at $100 and the hearing aids come with four rechargeable batteries and a solar charger. With this package, customers don’t need to buy any batteries for three years.
These hearing aids are made by employees who are also hearing impaired and use these products themselves. Deaftronics also has a mobile app that tests hearing for people and gives them results immediately. For now, the company largely distributes its products in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa.
Hit the source link below and watch the video to learn more about how Tendekayi is empowering the deaf community.
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