Media - Sonova News Room

Sonovas contribution to the UN sustainable development goals

Thanks to her hearing aids Ruzanna is able to follow class without limitations

“Good health and wellbeing“ is one of 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) defined by the UN. Sonova is contributing to this and other SDGs by providing access to hearing care not only in industrial but also in developing countries. A short film produced in collaboration with Reuters explains Sonovas multifaceted engagement.

The importance of good hearing and the consequences of hearing loss are still underestimated. People with untreated hearing loss are often faced with serious consequences. They range from disadvantages at work to relationship problems and social isolation, which may even lead to depression.

As well as its impact on the individual, untreated hearing loss puts a heavy cost burden on society. According to the WHO, unaddressed hearing loss costs countries an estimated USD 750 billion annually in direct health costs and loss of productivity.

As the leading provider of hearing solutions, Sonova is addressing these issues as part of its vision of creating a world in which everybody can enjoy the delight of hearing and live a life without limitations. A short film produced in collaboration with the news agency Reuters shows Sonova commitment to social responsibility.

 

Good health and wellbeing

The third SDG calls for ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for people of all ages.

Currently, 80% of people with hearing loss live in developing countries, where hearing aids are unaffordable – and there are few or no trained professionals to address hearing problems. In these countries, fewer than 1 in 40 people who need a hearing aid have access to one.

Sonova therefore strives to expand access to hearing care by offering the industry’s most comprehensive product portfolio and by supporting the training of local specialists, which is especially valuable in emerging countries. In China, for instance Sonova built a new training center – the Global Hearing Institute in Suzhou.

Quality education

The fourth SDG is to ensure inclusive high-quality education for all, promoting lifelong learning.

To be able to follow a lifelong educational path, it is essential for children to have a good start. But children with untreated hearing loss face severe difficulties, since development of speech and language is fundamentally dependent on the sense of hearing. Untreated hearing loss among children can greatly limit speech, cognitive development and school performance. Children with hearing loss often grow up unable to find work and get trapped in a cycle of poverty and isolation.

Sonova therefore founded the non-profit Hear the World Foundation in 2006; it focuses particularly on supporting children, enabling them to develop their fullest potential. Sonova supports the foundation through funding, technology and the expertise of its employees who serve the foundation’s projects as volunteers. Since its establishment, the Hear the World foundation has supported over 90 projects all around the world and given thousands of children access to better hearing and education.