News Release

LDS Charities Joins with Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and University of Ghana to Establish Post-graduate Audiology Program

When Emmanuel Kitcher, M.D., a physician at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, met with Isaac Ferguson of LDS Charities, little did they know that a decade later, Dr. Kitcher’s vision of sufficient audiologists in Ghana would become a reality through the establishment of a post-graduate audiology program.

LDS Charities – the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – met with Dr. Kitcher in 2003 to discuss the need for more trained audiologists in Ghana who could provide evaluation and rehabilitation services to individuals with hearing and balance disorders.

Since then, many Latter-day Saint audiologists from the United States, and other senior or retired audiologists, volunteered their time and expertise to develop a program for training audiologists.

As a result, a third partner -- the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Ghana – now offers a new master’s of science degree in audiology. Dean of the school, Patrick Ayeh-Kumi, ensured the curriculum met requirements necessary for students to earn the new master’s degree.

The Latter-day Saint audiologists and other audiologists have donated time to provide in-class training.

Six students are completing their second year of study and four are completing their first year.   

The second-year students are scheduled to graduate in November 2013. These graduates will then spend a year in various internships throughout Ghana prior to being certified as professionals. 

Through this continued partnership, it is anticipated that Ghana will become a center of excellence in hearing evaluation and audiologist training in West Africa. Plans are already in place for satellite clinics throughout Ghana which will provide facilities for audiologists and otolaryngologists (ear- nose-throat specialists) to work side-by-side, providing these desperately needed services.

Ghana’s population is currently estimated to be 25 million, whereas the number of audiologists is eight – all trained at institutions outside of the country. Today 1,000 audiologists are needed to provide adequate hearing-related services for newborn through geriatric populations throughout Ghana.

Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS Charities is an application of the admonition of Jesus Christ to help others in need. It organizes and implements relief and development projects in 179 countries around the world. Assistance is rendered without regard to race, religious affiliation, or nationality and is based on the core principles of personal responsibility, community support, self-reliance, and sustainability.

More than one million man-days of labor are contributed yearly by volunteers in support of these projects, which are funded by donations from Church members and others. The Church absorbs its own overhead costs.

Largely run with volunteer labor, LDS Charities operates both independently and in cooperation with other charitable organizations and governments.


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