Leveraging technologies to help children in Bhutan with hearing loss and ear disorders to hear, listen, and speak

In collaboration with the Royal Government of Bhutan, the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries, Medtronic Labs, and Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss (GFCHL) launched a new initiative to meet the needs of pediatric ear and hearing care dubbed ‘Hear, Listen, and Speak Program for all Bhutanese Children.’ Through this initiative, Medtronic Labs’ portable screening and digital patient management technologies will be deployed to enable hospital, school, and community-based screenings across the country for all children aged 0-14 years. It will further capacitate the Bhutanese health workforce with the usage of the technologies to support the establishment of a sustainable ear care continuum. Additionally, the GFCHL will develop the local professional capacity and resources to help Bhutan establish the full Continuum of Care required to enable babies and young children 0-6 years of age with hearing loss to listen and speak. ‘We want to serve the least developed countries as the gateway to science, technology, and innovation to achieve the sustainable development goals. We will carry this model to assist other LDCs in the near future,’ said the UN Technology Bank Managing Director Joshua Setipa.