Starkey Foundation takes hearing screening to Region Five
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 6, 2018
A team of volunteers from the Starkey Hearing Foundation Guyana has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health and Department of Health Services in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) to provide free hearing screening among other audiology services to residents in the month of March.
This outreach, which forms part of the first phase Starkey’s 2018 mission to Guyana, will see the foundation decentralising its services for the first time. Previously, the hearing outreaches hosted at the Sophia Exhibition Centre saw large numbers of patients travelling from the West Coast of Berbice to access the services provided.
The Rehabilitation Department at the Fort Wellington Hospital has facilitated this inaugural exercise in Berbice that will benefit at least 100 persons.
Caribbean Regional Coordinator of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Tamiann Young explained that the objective is to ensure that opportunity is provided for persons to hear by acquiring a hearing aid, free of cost.
Young noted that the outreach is designed to determine the hearing deficiencies in an individual. “In phase one, the patient gets checked to ensure that they need the hearing aid and then they actually go through different stages, registration then the screening, they go through the voice testing if they need one. if they don’t have an audiogram then the blessing, the magic happens at our impression station and that’s where the patient gets a custom fit mold made for them.”
Persons who have been through the process of having ear impressions done will benefit from a hearing aid in June when the Starkey team returns. One resident, Devin Sookraj said that the outreach is timely and he is grateful since his mother was afforded the opportunity to be screened for an independent hearing.
Sookraj, who is also a past president of the East Canje’s Lion’s Club, explained, “my mom here, couple years now about five to six now, we having the problem with her hearing. She hears sometimes and sometimes you have to raise your voice for her to hear properly and sometimes speak very slowly so that she can understand what you are saying…We here and have to go through pressure testing and so forth to determine if she has to get a hearing aid or not, I’m very grateful for this.”
This first phase of screening and testing continues on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the Sophia Exhibition Centre. The outreach at that location will facilitate more than 100 registered patients of the Ministry of Public Health’s Audiology department as well as walk-in patients with hearing impairment.
By: Delicia Haynes