As per WHO, around 360 million people suffer from disabling hearing loss all across the world. However, greater prevalence has been found in the Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa regions, which causes a loss of $750 billion annually across the world.
Thereby, there is a huge need for raising awareness about hearing impairment in developing countries like Pakistan. I felt so contented to know about ZB Foundation, a non-profit Hearing Screening setup in Islamabad working for this cause.
This organization came into being in the memory of a little girl named Zahra Beau Naqvi. Zahra was an adopted child but did not survive long after her birth due to a lack of newborn screening. If she had had a heel pricking test at birth, her genetic disease would have been diagnosed and cured to save her life.
Now the goal behind ZB Foundation is to not let any other child lose their life as Zahra lost. This organization is providing free facility to babies in Islamabad and Rawalpindi for hearing screening. Knowing about hearing impairment at an early stage allows timely intervention. This allows these kids to better cope with the health challenges they will encounter due to hearing loss or impairment.
Furthermore, this will allow them to better utilize educational facilities and become competent in any field of life. I view it as both health and social initiative to promote diversity and inclusion as it has laid the foundation by implementing intervention at the root cause level. Furthermore, the hearing screening equipment donated by Pakistan Ear Foundation has been installed in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to support as many deaf newborns as possible.
Also, they are ahead in educating parents to identify hearing impairment in their newborns through their social media pages. Even though the organization is facing a lot of challenges in its work and in creating maximum awareness in parents but it is determined to make newborn screening test accessible.
I pledge my word of honor from this prestigious platform to the entire team of ZB Foundation. I hope with the help of organizations like ZB Foundation, we would be able to practice diversity and inclusion in every domain.