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Supporting Children with Hearing Loss in Zambia

2017 saw landmark events in Zambia that can, with the support of the Zambian Ministry of Health and associated partners, help work towards providing equitable access and coverage of cost effective, quality health services for Ear, Nose and Throat and audiology services making ear and hearing care accessible to the local population. These events include the launch of Zambia’s first ever Ear, Nose and Throat Health Strategic Plan and the official opening of the first paediatric audiology clinic in the country, established with the support of Sound Seekers at University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka. Due to the significant need for audiology services within the University Teaching Hospital and the lack of suitable paediatric testing equipment/training in the country, Sound Seekers have worked with the Zambian Ministry of Health to establish the first state-of-the-art children’s hearing clinic at the UTH Children’s hospital. The Children’s Hearing Clinic is fully equipped to perform audiological behavioural testing including visual reinforcement audiometry as well as auditory brainstem testing, otoacoustic emissions and tympanometry. When a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, ear moulds can be made on site and digital hearing aids can be fitted. The clinic provides advice and support to parents and families as well as health professionals throughout the hospital. An ENT nurse has also been sponsored by Sound Seekers to train as an audio technician and is currently working at the clinic alongside a volunteer Audiologist. We will present 2017-2018 clinical findings from the children’s hearing clinic as well as an overview of Sound Seeker’s future plans for audiology service development in Zambia.

  • Report clinical findings from the first Paediatric Audiology clinic in Zambia
  • Discuss challenges and barriers to development of audiology service provision
  • Overview of ‘next steps’ for the growth of Audiology services in Zambia

Presentation:
18607_9901BhavishaParmar.pdf

Handouts:
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Bhavisha Parmar (POC,Primary Presenter), Sound Seekers , Bhavisha@sound-Seekers.org.uk;
Bhavisha Parmar is a practising audiologist and has since worked extensively with both the adult and paediatric populations. After completing volunteer projects in rural India with Raleigh International and an MSc in Advanced Audiology in 2016, Bhavisha was inspired to link her passion of audiology and development work. This lead her to volunteer with Sound Seekers in 2017 for one year in Zambia, where she set up the first Children’s Hearing Clinic in the country. She is currently the paediatric audiology team lead within a London based clinic whilst completing a PhD investigating the assessment of spatial hearing and optimisation of hearing devices. Bhavisha continues to volunteer for Sound Seekers as the Special Advisor (Audiology) to provide technical and clinical advice and support for all projects.

      ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


      AAA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.