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Audiology Outreach- West & North

23 Feb
The Audiology team screened a total of 320 children in the North and 140 in the West in the past two weeks. 
This is in line with the Frank Hilton Organisation (FHO) vision to ensure early detection and intervention services for children with and at risk of acquiring a disabilities.
The screening outreach in Special Schools was made possible through a Government grant which the Organisation received through the 2017-2018 National Budget.
Members of the Frank Hilton audiology team examine young students’ hearing abilities
The screening will ensure that all children enrolled at the special schools are screened, diagnosed and provided with necessary intervention.
FHO took on board audiologist Dr Donna Carkeet, from Ears Inc, an Australian organisation which is in a partnership with their Fiji counterpart.
Dr Carkeet said: “Early identification of ear and hearing problems is important to minimise their effects on education and speech and language development. It allows us to treat temporary hearing problems and commence rehabilitation for those with permanent hearing loss.”
Mrs Perera said: “This is the second round of screening of children in special schools undertaken by us. Last November we screened 300 children in six special schools in the West. Understanding that 50 per cent of hearing loss is preventable we strongly feel a proactive approach in identifying children at the earliest possible time will offer them better opportunities in later life”
Mrs Perera said the organisation would ensure that those identified with or at risk of hearing loss receive the necessary follow up treatment and rehabilitation.
“We are also looking to equip children with hearing aids, train the teachers in maintenance and management of hearing aids within their schools and also conduct parent awareness programmes,’’ Mrs Perera said.
“We will also attempt to have teacher training workshops on appropriate communication and language development within classrooms to better support children with hearing loss”
Frank Hilton Organisation is a part of the Fiji Crippled Children’s Society, which has branches is Nausori, Ba, Lautoka and Labasa.
It has worked predominantly in Suva since the 1960s. The Frank Hilton Organisation also carries out an infant screening programme at the CWM Hospital’s NICU and out-patients department ensuring that infants at risk are screened at birth or soon after.
The organisation has grown rapidly during the past five years and has departments in physiotherapy, speech therapy and community support ensuring that children with disabilities receive a holistic range of services under one roof.