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Grafton audiologist helps children in Africa

Grafton audiologist with Accent Hearing, Greg Butcher, helping out with a volunteer program in South Africa. Images: Contributed.
Grafton Accent Hearing audiologist Greg Butcher was in South Africa last week, volunteering in an outreach program at a local primary school near Groblersdal. The clinic and outreach program involved 10 Australian audiologists, who screened up to 120 primary school children aged from five to 10 for any hearing problems. The morning session saw plenty of pebbles stuck in ears and a few reports of otitis media (glue ear) sufferers. These children were all referred on for further medical treatment at the local hospital. As provider of high quality, comprehensive ear and hearing care services, the clinic uses its resources and expertise to reduce the negative impact of hearing impairment on the health, lifestyle and communicative abilities of individuals with hearing loss and their families through the prevention of the onset of ear and hearing problems. Through appropriate community education programmes and the early identification and management of ear and hearing problems, the clinic also maintains an active research programme by focusing on an evidence-based model for the inclusion of audiological services as part of integrated health, child and community care in rural South Africa Mr Butcher’s opportunity to volunteer came about from attending an audiology conference with over 70 other audiologists at the Kapama Private Game Reserve Conference Centre in Kruger National Park. It was an opportunity for Mr Butcher to see how disadvantaged South Africa’s health system was, and how outreach programs have been achieving great outcomes over the last 3-4 years. Mr Butcher mentioned also as a local Rotarian, there were two other Rotarians working with him on this project.