Three years since becoming an Audiologist in Malawi

Three years since becoming an Audiologist in Malawi

Mwanaisha Phiri: Lead Audiologist at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre

We are pleased to share an update on one of our Audiologists in Malawi.

Mwanaisha Phiri became one of the first two Malawian Audiologists after graduating with a Masters degree in Audiological Science at the University of Manchester in December 2016, sponsored by Sound Seekers.

Three years on since qualifying and Mwanaisha now leads the team at the Audiology Clinic established at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. These comprehensive audiology services includes clinic and outreach services, the first of it’s kind in a government hospital in Malawi, making it a leader in audiology in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mwanaisha reflects on the past three years and her experience in this vital role in Malawi:

I have been working as an audiologist for almost 3 years now after graduating from the University of Manchester in England. Audiology practice in Malawi is fun and interesting because for the past few years after graduation, I have acquired knowledge and skills in almost all the specialities within the Audiology profession such as, newborn hearing screening, basic balance assessment and management, diagnosing hearing losses and hearing aid fitting for both adults and children, switching on and mapping of the cochlear implants, organising and conducting the outreach programmes for both the communities and school hearing screening.

Additionally, I have been a coordinator and a co-author of the two recently published papers entitled: ‘Diagnostic accuracy of non-specialist versus specialist health workers in diagnosing hearing loss and ear disease in Malawi’ and secondly ‘An Intervention to Improve Uptake of Referrals for Children with Ear Disease or Hearing Loss in Thyolo District , Malawi.’

There is still more to learn and practice but I feel proud to be one of the first Audiologists in Malawi who is helping to diagnose and treat different levels of hearing loss to enable people to hear better and refer those that cannot hear either to the deaf school or a possible cochlear candidacy in Malawi.

As a Malawian Audiologist I am so excited to have helped children like Ellen, pictured below” to hear better.

Ellen Chimwaza, age 10, Malawi

“Ellen Chimwaza, a 10 year old child, was born with reduced hearing in both ears, the cause unknown as she had no history of any serious illness since birth. Ellen kept repeating grade 1 and 2 in school before she visited the Audiology Clinic at QECH in 2017.

I assessed Ellen’s hearing and diagnosed her bilateral hearing loss. I was able to fit her with her two hearing aids and the same year she passed her exam and went into grade 3. Since then she has continued to improve in class and last year she also passed her exams and is currently in Grade 4.

Ellen is now happy that she hears much better in class and at home than before.

The hearing aids have changed her life.”

 

                            

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