Hearing screening in Zambia

Training

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A team of four volunteers from the Callier Center for Communications Disorders report back on their visit to Zambia (central Africa) aimed at carrying out hearing screening and offering audiology services to the local population.

Dr. Jackie Clark, clinical associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas, Dallas, led the group of volunteers to provide much needed audiological care in the cities of Ndola and Lusaka. Many people in the country still visit witch doctors for all their daily medical needs. Team members needed to adjust to a new environment and to find solutions for the challenges they faced. They often had to work outdoors under tarp tents using equipment made portable by packing it into a suitcase. “We’re pretty lucky with the facilities that we have at UT Dallas, even if we don’t really realize it,” said Joan Oexmann, a second-year audiology student. “It was pretty eye-opening in that way.” “It creates an awareness of what you have to work with, and how you can adapt things and make them work for you, even if you have limited resources,” she added.

On their travels, the group was joined by a Zambian audiologist, Dr. Alfred Mwamba. Another aim of their mission was to assist in training clinicians who help Mwamba on a daily basis. The training initiative is intended as a first step in creating a self-sustaining program to help meet the country’s audiological needs.

The Callier Center is the largest speech, language and hearing resource in North Texas and provides more than 48,000 clinical services to more than 4,000 children and adults annually.

Source: UT Dallas News Center

C.S.