About this project
All Ears Cambodia (AEC) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit organization. It provides children from low-income families with access to hearing care and trains audiologists and audiology professionals. Since 2010, the Hear the World Foundation has supported the organization, which employs nearly thirty staff. In 2022, the collaboration was extended.
In five clinics, some of which are located in rural areas, our project partner provides consistent audiological services to Cambodian children. In doing so, AEC focuses on expanding existing capacity so that more children can be treated. In Phnom Penh the AEC clinic has expanded its reach and has become increasingly regarded as a community clinic with well utilized and respected services.
Despite improved health care over the past decade, disparities between rural and urban areas persist in Cambodia. AEC sends mobile teams to ensure that screenings can also be conducted in remote areas. Furthermore, the NGO aims to expand its services to cover the entire continuum of care. ENT physicians, diagnostics for hearing loss, as well as the professional fitting of hearing aids by specialized staff, and health education are available in every clinic.
Medical care changes lives
According to the UN, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is therefore hardly surprising that medical care in the Southeast Asian country is insufficient, especially in rural areas – there are just 0.2 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants.
Glyn Vaughan Clinical audiologist and director of All Ears Cambodia, trustee of All Ears International and current Hearing Health Advocate for Cambodia for the Coalition for Global Hearing Health
Why is AEC in need of support?
The field in which AEC works is sadly regarded as a low-priority health issue. The public sector remains unable to provide high-quality, high-volume health care. There are only few resources for ear and hearing health care, any many services are confined to the capital, Phnom Penh. There is an urgent need for the development of human and technical resources with improved access and quality of services.
AEC was founded by you in 2003 as a one-man clinic. How big is the organization today?
It remains small – with fewer than thirty staff – although with significant output. Currently, we have five clinics across the country and work in partnership with over eighty aid organizations and two major public hospitals. We focus on the most vulnerable and the most affected – from newborns to retirees – and fight ear diseases to help restore their hearing. We also created a school of audiology and primary ear care to build local human resources.
How important are awareness campaigns?
They’re invaluable. Education enables people to become more aware of how their ears work, how to prevent problems and how to recognize signs of disease – and what to do if things go wrong. We run regular interactive children’s shows – platforms for informal, contagious learning about sound and hearing. Underscored in these performances are the importance of ear health care, safe listening and the protection of hearing.
How does the Hear the World Foundation support the organization?
The foundation has been providing us financial support and technical expertise for over 12 years. It was pivotal in developing the ear mold laboratory in Siem Reap, communication therapy services in Phnom Penh and mobile outreach clinics for high at- risk communities. Currently, it supports Project Echo which focuses on the scale-up of pediatric services in central, northern and eastern Cambodia.