Department of Health 09/03/2020 - 10:45
Thompho Mphephu and Chenay Charles
More than 400 patients have been given a gift of hearing through various programs at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.
In 2019 alone, 430 patients received hearing aids, 12 received Cochlear Implants, nine received bone anchored hearing devices and 32 FM systems were issued by the hospital’s Audiology and Speech Therapy Department.
The department also screened a total of 1518 of babies born (7%) and there is a plan to increase this to 20% in 2020.
The patients who receive these hearing devices also form part of a support group that meets regularly and share experiences amongst others.
In commemoration of World Hearing Day on Tuesday, Audiology and Speech Therapy Department had an awareness campaign were patients were encouraged to undergo regular hearing tests, so defects can be identified early and treatment provided.
Under the theme, Don’t let hearing loss limit you, the hospital used the opportunity to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss as well as improve care.
Head of Audiology and Speech Therapy at CHBAH, Dr Sadna Balton, said: “It is important to test regularly as timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication.”
Dr Balton, who is very passionate about patient experience of care added that she and her team are committed to making their unit a centre of excellence and for that they are going to be innovative in their thinking.
During the interaction with patients, therapists educated the public about the Ear Wax (A normal and natural substance, which helps the ears to stay healthy and prevent infections).
An excited audiology patient Cynthia Malingane said: “Coming to Audiology helped me a lot because I couldn’t hear anything, but now I can hear because of the hearing aid they gave me.”
The hospital will continue throughout the year to encourage people especially mothers to get their children tested so we can minimize the number of people with hearing difficulties.
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