National Hearing Plan for Samoa

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© Georgios Kollidas/Fotolia

National and international stakeholders gathered last week to refine and contribute to the National Hearing Services Plan for Samoa which is set for implementation in July. The effort is funded under the Samoa-Australia Partnership for Development and will expand hearing services to cover a wider scope of the community.

Participants at the meeting were briefed on some of the hearing services offered by SENESE Inclusive Support Service to children with a hearing impairment, and the resources that are currently available to support children with hearing impairments and their families.

“This is a great step forward for the development of hearing services here in Samoa as well as being a Pacific First,” said SENESE Director, Donna Lene. “50% of hearing loss is preventable through immunization and early treatment of ear disease. If Samoa can work together across agencies we will be improving the lives of many Samoans who experience difficulty in hearing.

“It’s a great investment for all of us because statistics show that at age 60, 60% of the population have some form of hearing loss and by age seventy this jumps to 70%.”

The stakeholders hope to begin hearing screening for all children under one, and to treat and support them once the plan is implemented. The plan includes newborn hearing screening, hearing screening for children at risk and hearing screening for adults. The plan also aims to equip Samoa with resources to be able to conduct hearing tests for babies, children and adults over time.

Source: Samoa Observer

Rose Simpson