Malcolm Garner and David Couch, both members of the Project Committee, visited The Gambia at the end of August. Both are qualified teachers of the deaf and David is a qualified educational audiologist.
(David, Yaka & Malcolm with the new sign for clinic at St Johns)
Audiology Project:They met up with Yaka Faal, who did the Diploma course last year in Zambia, to provide training on the new audiology equipment that they brought out for the clinic at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.
(Yaka Faal at work in the existing cramped polyclinic at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital)
Access to Education Project: They met with all 29 Polyvalent Itinerant Teachers together with Nancy Mendy, the Principal Officer for Special Educational Needs, to lead a training day reviewing the effectiveness and coverage of the Step-Down Training Programme.
Last year in July 2015, they provided training to equip the Itinerant Teachers to provide a deaf awareness course for teachers in mainstream schools. They also provided a lesson plan for their sessions and course materials for both themselves as trainers and for each school.
We were so pleased to hear that the Itinerant Teachers had embraced the task with real enthusiasm and, amazingly, have delivered no less than 378 separate courses in the schools they visited across the whole country, training more than 4000 teachers in the process! The session was really helpful, as it was their first opportunity to get together to compare notes and share their experiences.
(Itinerant Teachers Workshop, Access to Education Project)
(Nancy Mendy with hundreds of course evaluation sheets!)
Yankho is a 4-year-old boy who had ear infections in both ears essentially his whole life but has never received treatment. He was seen on a HARK outreach in Blantyre, as his mother heard about our outreach from his school at Andiseni Primary.
He was very scared and didn’t want anyone to look in his ears. Kent (ENT/Audiology Officer) gave him the otoscope to hold, and demonstrated how it works. Kent has managed to mop the infection from both ears, and prescribed him with antibiotics and pain reducers.
Our HARK team will be returning for another outreach to check on his infection and test his hearing to determine the best way to move forward.
We are delighted to be working with Zambia’s largest hospital, the University Teaching Hospital, to introduce targeted paediatric hearing screening. The aim of the project is to identify children with hearing loss as early as possible so that they can benefit from audiological, educational and support interventions to allow them to fulfil their potential in life.
We are pleased that Tersia de Kock, an audiologist and expert in early hearing detection and intervention, is with us this week to run theoretical and practical training at University Teaching Hospital.
Participants from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Developmental Intervention Clinic, the ENT unit and Zambia National Association of the Hearing Impaired (ZNAHI) are all participating in training.
Our HARP (hearing aid refurbishment project) team in Lusaka, Zambia, has been busy preparing orders for Ndola and Lilongwe, Malawi. Here is Gideon with the hearing aids packed up and ready to go, made as good as new for the patients who receive them!
“Since my arrival at the audiology clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi at the end of May 2016, I have spent my first month getting acquainted with the clinic and staff, going on outreach to community centers outside of Blantyre, and immersing myself in the world of newborn hearing screening. I partnered with an engineer who has been staying in the same lodge as me to come up with a way to reuse the disposable ear phones that are made for our newborn hearing screen equipment. Together we designed a reusable device to hold the ear phones on the newborns’ heads. The engineer drew up designs to give to the wood carvers in town, and we had a local tailor sew some straps out of chitenje fabric, which can easily be washed. I cut ovals out of foam to give some cushion and flexibility between the wood and the baby’s head to account for head shape differences.
Our office manager brought her 6-month-old baby, Theodore, into the clinic to trial our earphone contraption. He was quite the good sport about the whole thing and everything fit perfectly. We are now ready to produce another few sets in preparation for our newborn hearing screen program.
Over the next week or so, I will continue researching the best way to go about setting up a newborn hearing screen program in Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. The next step is to write and submit a research proposal so we can publish the data we gather on our newborn hearing screen program. The hope is that publishing an article on this process will contribute to the future of the newborn hearing screen program at QECH, as well as adding to the body of research about newborn hearing screen programs in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing areas of the world.”
Julia Swayne is in the last year of her audiology doctorate at A.T. Still University in Arizona. She is completing her fourth year audiology externship with Dr. Caron at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. She will be here until May 2017. She is very excited to develop our targeted newborn hearing screening!
We are very pleased that our volunteer, Dr Courtney Caron, has organised an Earmould Training for our new audiology clinic in Blantyre, Malawi. She said that: “Mark Chipeta (middle) has spent the week training Louis Jailos (left, one of the audiology officers) and Samson Mponda (right, new official Queens earmould maker) on how to make earmoulds. We are forever grateful to ABC Hearing Clinic and Training Centre for facilitating Mark to come here for this important training!”
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a silent auction for some amazing prizes! A form can be submitted at our fundraising event tomorrow evening (Thursday 12th May) at Bankside Gallery by 8pm or email your bid to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Monday 16th May.
1. Two Club Wembley Gold Debenture tickets for England v Portugal football match on 2nd June 2016. Also includes exclusive access to the Gold Debenture Holders’ Bar; free drinks at half time and Programme.
Minimum bid: £250
2. Four Gold Debenture tickets to the T20 Blast at Lords between Middlesex v Sussex Sharks on Thursday 16th June at 6.15pm. Also includes exclusive access to Lords’ Debenture holders’ licensed bar and terrace, providing refreshments, light meals and snacks.
Minimum bid: £200
3. Two tickets to see Beyoncé live at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 3rd July.