By Olimatou Coker
A Portugal based company, Calia Group, recently launched its audiology medical specialty by donating 40 hearing aids to St John’s School for the Deaf at the ceremony held at Tropic Shopping Centre in Senegambia.
Managing Director Raul dos Santos Burgos said his outfit is the first and only hearing aids dispensing centre nationwide, equipped with inter-acoustics diagnostic instruments.
He said it will have otoacoustic emission devices, which are essential for newborn hearing screening which up to date has never been performed in The Gambia.
The services will be provided by Olga Hidalgo, an experienced Cuban audiologist with more than 20 years of professional career, as well as Yaka Faal, a veteran Gambian nurse.
“My objective is to bring hearing aids that we can be able to sell for D5,000, although it is not straightforward, both due to the duty to be paid with the importation of the good as well as the 15 percent tax rate charged to the patient,” Mr dos Santos Burgos told The Standard.
He said the Calia Group was founded 30 years ago with footprints in West Africa since 2012 when it started operations in Cape Verde, where it currently has 18 establishments.
Daniel Mendy, the principal of St John’s School for the Deaf, said he was delighted at the coming of Calia Group to The Gambia as they have been constantly battling with the need for hearing aids.
“I am very pleased and happy for receiving such a huge donation,” he quipped.
He said he sees the smiles on the faces of children when they hearing aids are fixed on them.
Additional to audiology, ENT and ophthalmology medical services, Calia Group has created an optical shop called Opticalia in the same space were Medicalia is located.