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Pictured above is the Toomey-White Family: Kate, Justin, Goldie and Boston
Wellington Aboriginal Community Health Service (WACHS) recently was host to a Hear our Heart Bus visit. Last Wednesday 13 July, WACHS and Hear Our Heart staff performed 9 Children’s Hearing and Ear Check assessments at our Wellington clinic. Based in Dubbo, NSW, the Hear our Heart bus provides free ear health education, targeted hearing testing and free access to ear specialists to children in Dubbo and Districts.
WACHS are working to improve the Hearing Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at an early stage. With the support from Hear our Heart and HEARING Australia our focus is to identify and improve the hearing health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adults in our communities.
Research and evidence by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggests that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s hearing loss is largely preventable and treatable. Raising awareness and knowledge about ear disease and hearing loss on signs and symptoms, treatment and services can help prevent and or identify early intervention opportunities.
WACHS Maternal and Child Health Nurse, Katie Vercoe said “Hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is generally linked to middle ear infections “Otitis Media”, generally Otitis Media infections signs are subtle, and hearing loss is not identified until they begin school. Unidentified hearing loss in a child’s, and/or adult’s early stages can raise long term hearing loss effecting listening, learning, behaving, happiness, communicating, and long-term mental health.”
“The first three years of a child’s life are essential for developing all skills, including: learning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language, communicating, health, school learning, social and psychosocial wellbeing. All these factors contribute on a child’s life, family, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and culture, and effects their futures.”
If you missed the Hear Our Heart bus, but would like to book in for a screening with a GP or our Health Practitioner, call reception on 6845 5400 to schedule an appointment.