136-Year-Old Kenyan Touches Medic's Heart

  • 136-year-old John Wanyondu receiving treatment for his hearing loss on September 11, 2020
    136-year-old John Wanyondu receiving treatment for his hearing loss on September 11, 2020
    File
  • A 136-year-old Kenyan man, arguably the oldest in the world has a reason to smile after medics visited his homestead on September 11, 2020.

    Richard Mwangi, a consultant audiologist and a fellow at the British Academy of Audiology (FBAA) in the UK, was touched by Julius Wanyondu's story after it was highlighted by Kenyans.co.ke.

    Mwangi, who runs a hospital called Incus Ear Hearing and ENT Centre, traced Wanyondu to his home in Mukurweini, Nyeri County and gifted him new digital hearing aids.

    136-year-old John Wanyondu
    136-year-old John Wanyondu received treatment for his hearing loss on September 11, 2020
    File

    "As a company, we decided to offer free advanced digital hearing aids which work by amplifying the sound on levels that the patient cannot be able to hear," Mwangi told Kenyans.co.ke

    Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions among the elderly. 

    While many senior adults may think hearing loss is a normal phenomenon that comes with aging, it is important to treat it as it could lead to more complications.

    According to the medic, hearing loss can affect every area of a person’s life, including physical health, mental health, career success, social life, personal relationships, and overall quality of life. 

    Despite the high prevalence of hearing loss, only approximately 1 in 7 adults (14%) over the age of 50 with hearing loss uses hearing aids.

    At the age of 136, Wanyondu is still strong enough to walk without any assistance, though his hearing was impaired, which prompted Mwangi to help him.

    In Kenya the elderly receive a health cover from NHIF though there have been calls to recruit more citizens above the age of 70.

    On September 11, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi announced that the government would pay for 20,000 families to access health care under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program. 

    "The beneficiaries will get numerous benefits which include routine clinical services, free cancer screening, HPV vaccines, child health and vaccines, free obstetrics and gynaecological care, surgical and trauma care among many others," she explained.

    136-year-old John Wanyondu receiving treatment for his hearing loss on September 11, 2020
    136-year-old John Wanyondu receiving treatment for his hearing loss on September 11, 2020
    File