THE US-based Starkey Hearing Foundation would start its free hearing aids distribution to Dabawenyos this month.

"We will distribute free hearing aids to around 1,300 patients in Davao from November 27 to 30," Megan Baiocchi, Starkey International Development Director for Asia Pacific Region, said.

Baiocchi said Starkey, one of the world's major players in the hearing aid industry, has embarked on a sustainable hearing program and is actively involved in the Philippines. Its program in the country is considered the strongest program worldwide.

"We have 6,000 patients in five cities including Davao," she said.

Starkey Foundation, headed by Country Coordinator Ellaine Dimayuga, had conducted a mission in the city in August. During that time, qualified applicants were able to avail of free ear screening and check-up, which was conducted in coordination with the Davao City Health Office (CHO).

CHO chief Dr. Joy Villafuerte said this is the first time for Starkey to provide free screening and free hearing aids in the city. While Starkey provided the screening and the experts, the city government shouldered all other expenses, including transportation, accommodation and other logistics required for the event held at the Almendras Gym.

Those who availed of the screening last August and who got fitted for hearing aids will receive their customized units and batteries for free this month. (PR)