Cambodia has a population of 15 million people and many, especially those living in remote rural areas, have no access to services for diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment.
HCC has worked for the last ten years with All Ears Cambodia (AEC), a local NGO, established for the relief of persons with ear disease and hearing impairment and the preservation and protection of hearing in Cambodia. Focus is on the weakest and hardest hit, currently working in parternship with over 50 local and international aid agencies.
Target groups are some of the poorest and most marginalised adults and children in the country, including children with HIV or ones orphaned by AIDS, street children and former child labourers, women and girls rescued from trafficking rings or domestic violence, physically disabled people and ones with other sensory impairments, children with facio-cranial abnormalities and families of lowest income, internal refugees or victims of landmines and leprosy.
Working in conjunction with AEC, HCC’s work in Cambodia has concentrated on two principal goals: first, to support the development of an Audiological Clinic in Phnom Penh, the capital city, and second, to support the development of outreach programmes to bring diagnostic and treatment to local people in remote areas where healthcare is most lacking.
Throughout these programmes, there has been a strong emphasis on the provision of specialist ear and hearing services for children – particularly those with cerebral, motor and canio-facial disorders – where early rehabilitation has important implications for language acquisition and education.