Not too many Filipinos are knowledgeable when it comes to detecting possible hearing problems. And even if they are, devices that provide immediate solutions like hearing aids may be out of their reach because of the prohibitive prices.
But it will soon be a thing of the past as Canadian social enterprise earAccess, Inc. makes its high quality yet affordable hearing aids available in the Philippines. The company partnered with FINE Nutrition Trading International, a company known for its various health and well-being products, who will serve as the exclusive local distributor of earAccess hearing aids in the country.
earAccess hearing aids will be formally launched this month, and they will be available initially at select Watsons stores.
Thanks to ACCESS® 1 and ACCESS® 2 hearing aid models being launched, more Filipinos will now have access to high quality, durable and more importantly affordable, hearing aids. Currently, hearing aids are out of reach to many hearing-impaired Filipinos because they are expensive. The high price tag for hearing aids thus acted as a barrier for those with hearing impairment to get the access and relief that hearing aids provide. earAccess will change all of that.
“Indeed, hearing aids are very pricey so we changed the low-volume, high-margin status quo to a high-volume, lower margin model since hearing aids, although sold mostly at high prices, cost relatively little to make. With our ACCESS® brand of hearing aids, we were able to combine quality and low price to make them truly affordable,” declares Audra Renyi, Chief Executive Officer of earAccess, Inc.
In the Philippines, Filipinos with hearing impairment are about 17%, of the population based on the last National Registry done by the Department of Health (DOH) back in 1997.
Better Hearing Philippines, a non-government organization that assists the government in helping prevent hearing loss, conducted a nationwide survey on hearing disability and ear disorders in 2005. It estimated the prevalence of hearing disability at 8.8%, with hearing impairment, including mild forms of hearing loss, at 28%. The Philippine National Ear Institute, meanwhile, reported that “at least eight profoundly hearing deaf babies are born every day in the country, which is about one deaf baby born every 3 hours.”
Renyi said over 1 billion people worldwide suffer from hearing loss, and most live in developing countries and would need hearing aids. However, almost none of them can afford hearing aids so she decided to launch earAccess after her work at World Wide Hearing, a non-profit organization that works to provide hearings aids in underserved communities globally.
“With earAccess, our social mission is to create a financially sustainable way of reaching millions of people around the world who need hearing aids through our advocacy of ‘Come, Save, and Hear.’ We believe that if you cannot hear, you are cut off from your world, so we want to help you acquire hearing aids and reconnect with family and friends” Renyi adds.
To know more about earAccess and its ACCESS® 1 and ACCESS® 2 hearing aids, like the earAccess Facebook page, or visit https://earaccess.com.