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So Cambodia May Hear

Posted on October 13, 2016

Clear Ears Nurse Jacinta volunteers with the Starkey Hearing Foundation Mission to Cambodia

In September 2016, Clear Ears Nurse Jacinta Sonego was given the opportunity to participate in The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s phase 1 mission in Cambodia.  The Cambodian mission attracted approximately 650 patients, arriving from all over Cambodia – even on the back of trucks!


Patients arriving on the back of trucks to see the Starkey team.

Patients arriving on the back of trucks to see the Starkey team.

As part of the small otoscopy team Jacinta performed patient ear examinations and cleared their ear canals of earwax, foreign bodies and infection using the technique of micro suction and curettage.   Clearing the ear canal is critical to ensure the audiology team can undertake optimal hearing assessment and measurements for hearing aids.

Starkey Cambodian Otoscopy Team

Starkey Cambodian Otoscopy Team

80 per cent of the patients who attended were suffering from conditions requiring treatment by the otoscopy team. This was much higher than anticipated and the pathology found differed immensely from that seen in Australia.  Unfortunately, inadequate access to healthcare services in Cambodia means many patients experience chronic ear conditions and irreversible damage.

Jacinta with Happy Patients

Jacinta with Happy Patients


There were many questions Jacinta wanted to ask the patients in order to complete the ear examinations however communication was challenging.  Using translators to overcome language barriers, Jacinta was able to obtain patient consent and compliance for the procedure, and even discovered her name means bananas in Cambodian.

Jacinta's name means "Banana's" in Cambodian

Jacinta’s name means “Banana’s” in Cambodian

Jacinta feels privileged to have been included as part of the Starkey Hearing Foundation Cambodia Mission. The Starkey Hearing Foundation phase 2 mission to fit hearing aids for Cambodia will be conducted in 2017.  Jacinta is keen to volunteer again for this stage to witness the happy faces of her patients who will be given the gift of hearing.

Part of the Clear Ears vision is to support programs such as the Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide people in need access to hearing care and to develop sustainable Community-Based Hearing Healthcare Programs by encouraging our staff to volunteer their time and skills to such missions.

To learn more about the Starkey Hearing Foundation visit


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