OED Kenya was incorporated in the year 2001 by indigenous Ear, Nose & Throat specialists and other like-minded practitioners â€“ all of whom recognized the need for home-grown solutions to ear medical challenges. Initially, the program was primarily providing free ear surgery for needy children in Nairobi Hospitals using volunteer ENT specialists from the Netherlands.Â The introduction of a formal surgical training program for the Kenyan ENT Surgeons by the Dutch surgical teams in 1987 was a major turning point in OED.Â Thereafter a hearing health and rehabilitation program was started, which included distribution of hearing aids to schools for the deaf as well as training teachers of the deaf in the making of ear moulds for their pupils.
Due to the costly nature of ear surgery, which ranges between Kshs. 120,000 â€“ 200,000 in private hospitals and between Kshs. 9,000 â€“ 25,000 in government run public hospitals, and the scarcity of the highly specialized equipment needed in Government hospitals, the Operation Ear Drop Kenya established a “Hearing for Education programme“Â in 2004.
The Hearing for education programme conducts free surgical outreach camps in District and provincial hospitals across the country. The aim of this programme is to enhance quality and accessible Ear services which is achieved by providing free ear screening, ear operations, and training doctors in surgery for certain ear conditions to restore hearing.