Kingdom of Bhutan
Bhutan’s National Policy for Persons with Disabilities aims to strengthen child health and education services and reduce the impact of disability on people’s lives. Regarding ear and hearing care, Bhutan aspires to establish local services and expertise to address hearing loss in children.
The Hear, Listen, and Speak Program for All Bhutanese Children is a collaboration between the Kingdom of Bhutan, the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss, and Medtronic Labs. GN ReSound is a donor of hearing technology and related technical support to this program. UNICEF Bhutan is also indirectly involved.
This nationwide, multi-year program is designed to address gaps in ear and hearing care for Bhutanese children with hearing loss and ear disorders. It launched in October, 2021.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is leading the implementation of program elements for babies and young children ages 0-6 with hearing loss to enable them to listen and speak. We are collaborating with the Bhutan Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to establish the complete Continuum of Care from early identification of hearing loss to rehabilitation services for this population of children. The GFCHL’s proprietary training programs in pediatric audiology, auditory-verbal practice, and early intervention will build local professional expertise. Those we train will be prepared to share their knowledge with others in the country to make the benefits exponential and sustainable. We are also planning family education programs and community outreach initiatives to raise awareness for pediatric hearing loss and the interventions available to address it.
The larger program also implements screening and preventative care for Bhutanese children 7-14 years of age with typical hearing to ensure they have healthy ears ongoing.
Through delivery of hearing screening and referral technology, audiology equipment, hearing technology and related accessories, professional training, family education, and community outreach, we are helping the country of Bhutan establish sustainable ear and hearing care services for their young children 0-14 years of age both now and into the future.
View a short video that highlights the GFCHL’s contributions to help young Bhutanese children learn to listen and talk.
Watch the special event held in Thimphu, Bhutan in October, 2021 celebrating the start of this program.
Read the press release officially announcing this program.