About Us


Ear Aid Nepal exists to support people with conditions affecting the ear in Nepal. Ear Disease and deafness are the commonest sensory disability in Nepal, which has a particularly high prevalence of ear problems, even amongst other low and middle-income countries. Ear problems are often neglected because they are invisible. However, for the sufferer they cause problems ranging from loss of educational opportunities and diminished relationships in society to severe pain and life threatening infection. Nepali economy and society suffer significant loss as a result.

Why ear disease should be so common in Nepal is unknown, but is probably due to a combination of factors; including living conditions, frequent upper respiratory tract infections in childhood, smoke and dust in the home, nutritional deficiencies and lack of adequate knowledge about care and treatment of the early stages of infection. Many causes are preventable, such as by vaccinating for childhood illnesses, avoiding excessive noise exposure at work and ototoxic medicines, and access to early intervention. Further education of the public and professionals is required. The lack of medical facilities in many remote parts of the mountainous country and the costs involved also play a part.

Our aim is simply to help people in Nepal who have ear problems.

Having seen how common these conditions are we feel a need to show compassion. There is a verse in the Book of Proverbs (3, 27) which sums up this motivation:

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.

Those of us who have had many opportunities want to share our experience and training with others. We can treat individual people but we can also teach others. Our hearts are especially for those living in relatively poor situations for whom obtaining treatment may seem like an impossible dream.

Ear Aid Nepal started from a group of supporters of the first ear camps in the hills of Western Nepal. The original team worked with the International Nepal Fellowship and was based from the ENT department at the Western Regional (Gandaki) Hospital in Pokhara. The very first ENT training camp took place in the village of Burtibang in 1992, and the first ear camp was in Beni village in 1993. Those who started this work are all committed Christians. Over the years there have been numerous volunteers from many different backgrounds.

Early on, we recognised the limitations of the camps model. Whilst they helped many individual and disadvantaged people in remote areas enormously, they were not doing much towards sustainable development. In the mid 2000s we began to dream of a centre offering high quality tertiary care, outreach community work to the poorer and rural sections of society, and most importantly helping to train a new generation of specialists and local health workers. New restrictions on overseas volunteers practicing medicine short-term in Nepal also made the expatriate volunteer-led camps system impractical. We hope to continue some camps but on a smaller scale.

Our principle aim is to support and fund raise for these projects and to provide backup and expertise, a platform for training, and links with very experienced professionals around the world. Aside from professional networking and providing trainers and short-term volunteers, we have subsidised low cost or free treatment for patients, provided textbooks and other training materials, assisted published research, helped equip the new ear centre, and run bursaries to enable local medical staff to attend short overseas courses.
We are all volunteers, offering our time freely and receiving no financial benefit.

This presentation, made at the 3 yearly British Academic Conference of Otolaryngology (BACO), January 2021 in the Global ENT section describes the history and current work of the ear services of INF and Ear Aid Nepal through camps and the ear centre in Pokhara, it includes interviews with some of the team and bursary recipient.