Bill Clinton Joins Fight against Hearing Loss

Earlier this week, during his ten-day Africa trip, former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton joined Starkey Hearing Foundation’s team of hearing professionals to give customized hearing devices to more than 375 people in Livingstone, Zambia and Kigali, Rwanda.

They made the stops to see the progress the Foundation is making on its Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action of providing one million hearing aids to people in need this decade.

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Currently, Starkey Hearing Foundation is nearly 40 percent ahead of schedule on its commitment, and in the past year alone, the Foundation has fitted more than 165,000 hearing aids worldwide.

President Bill Clinton fits a patient with hearing aids at a Starkey Hearing Foundation mission in Rwanda in August 2013 (Photo: Starkey Hearing Foundation)
President Bill Clinton fits a patient with hearing aids at a Starkey Hearing Foundation mission in Rwanda in August 2013 (Photo: Starkey Hearing Foundation)

“Starkey Hearing Foundation is empowering people around the world to achieve a better life through the gift of hearing,” said President Clinton. “Chelsea and I were honored, as we always are, to help the great Starkey staff fit people, many of whom had never heard before, for hearing aids.”

President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton personally fitted patients with new hearing aids in both Zambia and Rwanda. President Clinton has spoken at Starkey’s annual ‘So the World May Hear Awards Gala’ for the last four years, including most recently on July 28, in St. Paul, Minn.

President Bill Clinton and Bill Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, fit a patient with hearing aids at a mission in Zambia in August 2013 (Photo: Starkey Hearing Foundation)
President Bill Clinton and Bill Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, fit a patient with hearing aids at a mission in Zambia in August 2013 (Photo: Starkey Hearing Foundation)

This was his third time volunteering on a mission. He joined the Foundation in Colombia and Uganda in 2012.

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Hearing loss is a global epidemic, with disabling hearing loss impacting more than 360 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Yet with the help of a hearing device, hearing loss can often be corrected in many cases, giving an individual the opportunity to better connect with family, the community and the world around them.

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Rakesh Raman