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November 27, 2006

Solar powered hearing aid

Technicians in Botswana have developed the first solar powered hearing aid. The solar powered hearing aid is being designed to promote treatment of hearing loss in poor regions of the world.

Low cost and free second hand hearing aids are available for hearing impaired people in developing countries. However, many are unable to take advantage of this because of difficulty finding and paying for hearing aid batteries.

Easy and inexpensive

The solar hearing aids provide a simple solution to overcome this problem. They are fitted with button-cell batteries rechargeable in a solar powered battery charger.

Using conventionally powered hearing aids in Africa is costly because of the high cost of batteries and maintenance. Solar powered hearing aids reduce the cost by as much as 86 percent, drastically increasing the feasibility and availability of hearing aid treatment in developing countries.

Too many people in need

It is estimated that hearing loss affects more than 500 million people worldwide. In developing countries hearing impairment is estimated to be twice as widespread as in developed countries. In continents like Africa, hearing loss is particularly devastating as hearing loss may lead to isolation and exclusion from education and employment.


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