Posted on July 14, 2017
Clear Ears volunteering with Starkey Hearing Foundation
Starkey Hearing Foundation currently has a 3-phase continuous-action model designed to be simple, sustainable and scalable, utilising local partners and teams to support the delivery of the gift of hearing to those unable to afford it.
Chris was able to participate in a phase 1 mission in Malaysia in May involving a professional team of about 20 mostly audiologists and nurses from Australia, Vanuatu, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia and many local volunteers. The phase 1 mission involved assessment and treatment (otology) to ensure ears are clear and safe, hearing testing and then taking impressions (molds) for hearing aids to be made.
The mission in Malaysia the team saw over 1200 people in 4 days, and Chris personally treated over 300 patients – restoring hearing in 45 who were able to hear again after a simple earwax removal!
Jacinta was able to participate in a phase 2 mission in Cambodia also in May seeing 1300 patients with a team of 30 from Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and USA. The phase 2 mission also involves otology assessment and treatment to ensure ears are clear and safe, then each patient is fitted with the hearing aids that have been manufactured for them from the phase 1 mission.
Meg was able to participate in Philippines in the Manila phase 1 mission after training the Starkey Hearing Care Coordinators in the Clear Ears Learning, Course in Aural Care blended digital learning hub.
The missions are tiring, sometimes overwhelming, but extremely rewarding. Some days the teams work for over 10 hours with only toilet breaks and a quick 15 minutes for lunch with the aim to see all we can in the minimal time we have. We never want to send any patients away without help.
As always in otology and especially in these missions the Clear Ears staff find some very unusual anatomy, pathophysiology and foreign bodies in peoples ears. This year we’ve seen an interesting canal wall tumour, granuloma of the Tympanic Membrane, many tympanic membrane perforations – an infected matchstick protruding from one, and some with middle ear erosion, post mastoidectomy infections, otitis media, otitis externa and unusual foreign bodies included a cockroach, a diamond and some scrunched up red paper!
Clear Ears appreciate being included on these Missions with Starkey Hearing Foundation and look forward to the future missions planned for the remainder of 2017.