To celebrate the last day of International Week of the Deaf 2016, we want to tell you about a Zambian patient benefiting from our pioneering work in teleaudiology!
On Thursday 8th September, 9 year old Jessy from Ndola, Zambia, benefited from Sound Seekers’ pioneering work in teleaudiology. Teleaudiology can essentially be defined as improving access to audiology services via internet based platforms, for example Skype, Team Viewer and whatsapp group chat. In Zambia, we use the teleaudiology platform at Ndola Central Hospital as a means of managing difficult patients and remote mentoring and training. Our Audiology Officer, Mr Kalwa Nsenga, had struggled to get a reliable audiology assessment when he had his first consultation with Jessy. Therefore he arranged to link up with our consultant Audiologist, Shannon Kruyt, based over 3000km away in Cape Town, South Africa.
By remote testing, Shannon was able to confirm that Jessy has a severe bilateral hearing loss and can hopefully benefit from hearing aids. She was accompanied by her aunt who needed to go and check with Jessy’s parents that they were happy for her to have hearing aids fitted. Using a combination of remote and face-to-face counselling, Mr Kalwa and Shannon advised Jessy’s aunt that her niece must be really struggling to hear in the classroom in her mainstream school and therefore dropping behind; Jessy’s aunty confirmed this.
If her parents agree, we plan to fit Jessy with hearing aids in October. Again Shannon will be able to help from a distance by programming and checking the hearing aids. Watch this space for our next update!