Giving families the skills to help children with hearing impairment develop speech was the focus of a recent PCHR Touchpoint in Pakistan. This meeting began a deeper training and mentoring program on the important role of families in the speech and language development of their children. As a first stage the Professional Certificate in Hearing Rehabilitation participants will start adapting relevant (re)habilitation resources for the training of concerned families in Pakistan.
Four experts from Ziauddin Hospital Karachi will expand new-born hearing screening services in Pakistan’s most populace city. Over a week of training from various experts including Dr Nadeem Mukhtar, Dr Nouman Shah, Dr Mehdi Muntazar Raza, and Amber Rashid, the participants gained the skills to conduct the new-born hearing screening pilot programme in the city. At the conclusion of the training, the hospital was presented with both hearing screening and diagnostic devices.
Dissecting the temporal bone gives ENT surgeons the opportunity to examine the delicate anatomy around the ear and practice critical procedures for restoring hearing. On Sunday May 28 five ENT surgeons from Pakistan participated in a Temporal Bone Workshop conducted by the ENT department of the University of Lahore. The Workshop took place in the TBL training facilities which have been newly upgraded by the Hearing Healthcare Alliance to enable a state-of-the-art training for the participants.
Clinics in Lahore and Gambat have added new hearing screening devices to their offerings. Between March 12 and 21 the Ear Foundation Pakistan handed over these devices to representatives of the clinics that participate in the new-born hearing screening pilot program initiated by the Hearing Healthcare Alliance.
Together with the National Ear Care Centre Kaduna, the centre of excellence in the field of ENT in Nigeria, the HHA partnered up to kick off the first large scale new-born hearing screening program in Nigeria. In two days of screening and diagnostic training in Kaduna, followed by two further days of tracking training in Abuja, 18 ENT specialists learnt to identify infants with hearing impairment and to initiate their further treatment.
Sharing the power of language was a major theme of the April PCHR in Pakistan. Speech and Language Therapists from Pakistan workshopped techniques to improve the communication and life experience of children with hearing impairment over six days with the guidance of MED-EL’s in-house rehab experts. Each participant shared a video of a real therapy session which the course then deconstructed minute by minute according to cutting-edge scientific principles.
Uganda has taken a major step in the diagnosis of hearing impairment. The HHA is supporting a systematic, quality-controlled, universal new-born hearing screening pilot programme to identify infants with hearing impairment and start them on the path of treatment. Over 4 days in March, the HHA led training sessions on new-born hearing screening for ENT’s and nurses, and coached the tracking centre personnel on systems and software. This culminated in a visit to Kawempe National Referral Hospital to conduct hands-on practical screening of new-borns.
Lessons from the HHA are helping to prepare the next generation of health professionals to create new, life-changing programmes. Dr Christian Steppan gave a guest lecture to the students of the Master of Applied Health Sciences at University of Applied Sciences Krems on the worldwide benefits of public private partnerships in health sciences. Dr Steppan argued that improving the health systems of partner countries improves health outcomes for individuals in need.
Awareness of hearing impairment is a major goal of the HHA; it supports public health policy and empowers people to access care. World Hearing Day 2023 in Tanzania was another chance for the HHA to collaborate with Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar-Es-Salaam to spread the message that “ear and hearing care is for all.”
World Hearing Day in Kenya started with the launch of the “Ear and Hearing Care Strategic Plan and Guidelines 2023 – 2028.” This document sets out a plan to improve the experience of the 2.5 million people in Kenya with hearing loss. In the spirit of World Hearing Day 2023’s theme – “ear and hearing care for all” – this Plan tackles the social barriers to care as well as health infrastructure development.