Zhang dances across parts of Europe as she deals with the sound of si­lence

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONG NAN zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Zhang Tian­jiao is only 20 years old, and has al­ready per­formed clas­si­cal dance and mod­ern bal­let in front of packed au­di­ences in Europe.

Her ev­ery move has de­lighted the­ater­go­ers in Zurich and Mu­nich, and made her an in­te­gral part of an ar­ray of tour­ing dance troupes.

“My heart beats along to the rhythm when I hear mu­sic,” she said. “Danc­ing is a won­der­ful thing and I feel the mu­sic in my heart.”

Zhang has be­come a cover girl for Sonova Hold­ing AG, a multi­na­tional Swiss com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in hear­ing care so­lu­tions.

She even took part in a soc­cer train­ing ses­sion with par­tially deaf chil­dren in Ger­many ear­lier in the sum­mer to high­light the prob­lem.

But dance is her real love. Even as a child in Harbin, Hei­long jiang prov­ince, she knew there was only one ca­reer for her, de­spite be­ing di­ag­nosed with hear­ing prob­lems.

By the time she was 16 years old, she was called up to rep­re­sent China at a dance com­pe­ti­tion in Ukraine and went on to win it.

She now ap­pears with a range of pro­fes­sional dance troupes and also teaches bal­let lessons to chil­dren in China’s Sichuan prov­ince.

Since she was young, she has worn hear­ing aids from Phonak, a Sonova brand.

“Zhang’s story is a com­pelling il­lus­tra­tion of how in­no­va­tive hear­ing so­lu­tions are help­ing peo­ple to live a life with­out lim­i­ta­tions and a con­crete ex­am­ple of our cor­po­rate vi­sion in ac­tion,” said Sarah Kreien­buehl, Sonova’s group vice-pres­i­dent .

Data from the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion have shown that more than 60 mil­lion peo­ple in China suf­fer from hear­ing loss. Only 5 per­cent of them pos­sess a hear­ing aid.

In com­par­i­son, it is more than 40 per­cent in Europe. mil­lion One rea­son for this dis­par­ity is a lack of ed­u­ca­tion and knowl­edge of the op­tions for peo­ple who have hear­ing prob­lems.

Sonova, one of the largest providers of hear­ing care so­lu­tions in the world, is work­ing to change that.

“It is about let­ting peo­ple know that there are treat­ment op­tions,” said Lukas Braun­schweiler, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Sonova. “We are us­ing ed­u­ca­tion to help raise aware­ness in the coun­try.”

Sonova’s op­er­a­tional cen­ters in China and Viet­nam man­u­fac­ture hear­ing prod­ucts for global ex­port mar­kets.

The fac­tory in Suzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, makes mil­lions of hear­ing aids a year, with the group plan­ning to in­tro­duce its first 24-hour recharge­able hear­ing aid here within a year.

“Our lat­est project in China is an au­di­ol­ogy train­ing academy for the whole of the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion,” said Leonard Mar­shall, vice-pres­i­dent of Sonova for the APAC re­gion. “It has been es­tab­lished in our in­dus­trial cam­pus in Suzhou.”

The academy’s goal will be to de­velop pro­fes­sional cour­ses to up­grade and ex­pand the skills of pro­fes­sion­als in the hear­ing care in­dus­try.

“The sit­u­a­tion in China still needs to be im­proved,” said Zhang Yuxin, an au­di­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at China Med­i­cal Univer­sity in Shenyang.

“There are only about 10,000 cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sion­als who can pre­scribe hear­ing so­lu­tions for pa­tients,” Zhang added. “The num­ber of uni­ver­si­ties of­fer­ing au­di­ol­ogy de­grees are just four.”

peo­ple in China suf­fer from hear­ing loss. But only 5 per­cent of them pos­sess a hear­ing aid. In com­par­i­son, the num­ber is more than 40 per­cent in Europe.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Zhang Tian­jiao plays with chil­dren with hear­ing prob­lems at a soc­cer camp, which was backed by the Sonova.

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