Developing the first comprehensive audiology service in Southern Malawi
Thanks to the generous funding of UK Aid from the British people and support from the the People of the Island of Jersey, we have we have developed a comprehensive audiology service in Southern Malawi, which includes increasing access to education for children with hearing loss who may otherwise be excluded from school.
We have been working closely with the Government of Malawi over the past 4 years and have built, equipped and staffed a comprehensive audiology service based at Blantyre’s largest hospital, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).
The services being provided are far more advanced than the current basic audiology service and includes paediatric audiological assessment and management as well as outreach services using the HARK vehicle and trailer (with two sound-proof booths for accurate hearing assessment in the field).
In 2016, the audiology clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre officially opened. Sound Seekers fully sponsored two Malawians (and part sponsored two others) to obtain an MSc in Audiology at the University of Manchester. They returned to Malawi in September 2016 as the first ever Malawian Audiologists.
They are process of completing their clinical training before taking over the service at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre in 2018. There is one other audiologist at African Bible College Hearing Clinic in Lilongwe, Central Malawi. This is an outstanding achievement and places Malawi as a leader in audiology in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Courtney Caron, an audiologist from the United States has volunteering in Malawi for almost 4 years to support this important project and from April 2018, the two qualified Malawian Audiologists are now well positioned to take over and lead the services.
Training the first ever Malawian Audiologists
We sponsored two of the first Malawian audiology officers – Chikondi and Mwanaisha to do their MSc in Audiology at The University of Manchester – they returned to the audiology clinic at QECH in 2016 and will lead the services from 2018.
Supporting Audiology Outreach
As part of the comprehensive audiology services, QECH deliver outreach audiology and ear care services in isolated communities using the HARK vehicle donated by Jersey Overseas Aid.
Improving access to education and community awareness
Through the placement of a volunteer Advisory Teacher of the Deaf in Blantyre in 2018, we will train special needs teachers in Southern Malawi on awareness and effective inclusion of children with hearing loss in a mainstream classroom setting. Given the foundation of established audiology services in Malawi, we are now focusing on improving community-based interventions in the southern region, including awareness, education and prevention of hearing loss.
Capital: Lilongwe (Blantyre: Commercial Capital)
Area: 118,480 square kilometres
Language: English, Chichewa
GDP per capita: U.S. $340
GDP per day: U.S. $1
- Malawi currently has 3 Audiologists, the first two were sponsored by Sound Seekers in 2016. There are now 2 native ENT doctors.
- Malawi has 6 Deaf Schools in Karonga, Bandwe, Embangweni, Mua, Maryview and Mountainview
- Sign Language is Malawi sign language which is a combination of mostly American sign and local signs with a bit of British sign language.
Training health professionals
Our partners in Malawi
- Ministry of Health/Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital
- Ministry of Education