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The incidence of hearing loss and related communication problems in children in Namibia was high. Access to health care had been difficult and the quality of provision was poor, especially in rural areas. Lack of awareness and irregular treatment of ear infections, insufficient pre-natal care in many rural areas and a high incidence of malaria and meningitis in some parts of the country all contributed. CLaSH not only advocated for the early identification and early intervention of children with hearing loss, it also collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Social Services to establish and deliver a deafness prevention programme throughout Namibia.

CLaSH organised

  • awareness campaigns to inform and empower parents, communities and the general public
  • outreach projects to screen, diagnose and refer children from the regions
  • training sessions for health workers on ear care, etc.
  • provision and fitting of hearing aids
  • middle ear operations to restore hearing

CLaSH facilitated Operation Omakutsi, a successful German-Namibian cooperation between ENT surgeons from Germany, the Ministry of Health and local ENT doctors. Since 2003, Operation Omakutsi took place seven times in the North of Namibia, assisting an average of 40 patients each time. The German doctors did their work free of charge and the operations made a significant difference in the lives of many children.

outreach hearing-test omakutsi