Posted on August 7, 2013
Clear Ears Nurses have been fortunate in being invited to volunteer with both the Starkey Hearing Foundation program in Vietnam and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and AusAID funded Pacific Island Program (PIP) which provides ENT surgical services and Nurse training in Vanuatu led by Mr Perry Burstin.
Starkey Hearing Foundation
William F. Austin founded the Starkey Hearing Foundation in 1984 with the purpose of providing hearing aids to the world’s most disadvantaged. His vision – so the world may hear. Since that time, thousands of volunteers and supporters who share his vision have distributed more than 1.8 million hearing aids in over 100 countries to the hearing impaired. In May 2016, Clear Ears Nurses Natalie and Chris participated in this vision by joining The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s phase 2 mission in Vietnam. As part of a strong team of over 20 professionals, Natalie and Chris joined the otoscopy team to perform patient ear examinations and remove earwax, foreign bodies and infection using micro suction and curettage techniques. The Vietnam mission attracted approximately 500 patients, 80 per cent of which were suffering from conditions requiring treatment by the otoscopy team. The Vietnamese patients exhibited very advanced ear diseases that would normally be detected early in Australia. Unfortunately, inadequate access to healthcare services in Vietnam means many patients experience chronic ear conditions and irreversible damage.
Royal Australian College of Surgeons PIP ENT Program
Mr Burstin has been providing services to the Vanuatu program since 2002. He has established a strong multidisciplinary team including Surgeons, an Anaesthetist, Nurses, a Speech Therapist and an Audiologist to provide comprehensive clinical and teaching services to the Ni-van community. The ENT nurse training workshops in Vanuatu are designed to upgrade the medical knowledge and skills of Ni-van and other Pacific islands nurses. The program enables the nurses to deliver a range of primary, secondary and tertiary ENT services to their community. This is achieved through a formal multidisciplinary lecture series; on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring; and fostering of ongoing clinical support from the Australian team. Clear Ears annually provide the Pacific Island Nurses with training in Aural Care as well as assist the Surgeons in the Clinic and Operating room.
To assist in supporting these initiatives fundraising and donations can be made to Starkey Hearing Foundation at https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/take-action or made to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons at http://www.surgeons.org/government/community-and-international-programs/donations