Building capacity in vietnam
In Vietnam ear medical care is insufficient. There are only 1.2 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. Together with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss the Hear the World Foundation is building local capacity. Three regional audiology centers are being added to the project and locals are being trained so that they can provide ear medical care to children with hearing loss.
Place & Year
Project PartnersGlobal Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss (GFCHL)
Vietnam was hard hit by the two Indochina Wars and the country is still recovering from that period. Although Vietnam has continued to develop in recent years, health care is still nowhere near as good as it might be. This is particularly true of rural regions, which are mainly populated by families on low incomes.
Holistic model for sustained medical care
Partnering with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss (GFCHL), the Hear the World Foundation is dedicated to helping children with hearing loss in Vietnam. GFCHL was founded by Paige Stringer, an American woman who also has hearing loss, with the goal of increasing its personnel in Vietnam, to enable the country to be self-sufficient in providing hearing healthcare and speech therapy in the near future. Using the knowledge they have acquired, the trained audiology technicians and auditory-verbal therapists are able to help many children, enabling them to achieve their full educational and personal potential.
Young children with hearing loss must be identified as early as possible, fitted with appropriate hearing aids and must receive professional support with using the hearing aids and learning to hear and speak. The GFCHL follows a holistic model, which encompasses audiology and education in order to achieve the best outcomes for these children.
Training local experts
In the summer of 2016, two Sonova employees traveled to Dong Nai in Vietnam to support the GFCHL at the “Pediatric Audiology Training Workshop”. A total of 22 technicians took part in this training and were divided into an advanced and a beginners’ group. Our volunteers provided an introduction to audiology and hearing testing techniques for the beginning group and further theoretical and hands-on clinical training for the more advance technicians including hearing aid fitting, verification and also clinical management and peer development. This ensures the sustainability and exponential effectiveness of the initiative. To convey the knowledge in the most effective way possible, theory presentations were held each morning and the course participants had the opportunity to put what they had learned into practice in the afternoons. During the week-long mission in Vietnam, a total of 22 children aged between 0 and 6 years were fitted with new hearing aids.
In the same week that the Hear the World volunteers were in Vietnam, a parents’ evening was held. Around 20 families attended with great interest. Our volunteers provided a presentation on empowering parents and the local professionals were able to showcase their knowledge and skills by fielding questions about children with hearing loss and technology.
Additional regional audiology centers
One important aim of the Vietnamese Ministry of Education is to integrate children with hearing loss into mainstream schools. This approach requires a large number of specially trained teachers who are able to help young children use their hearing technology and develop their speech and language abilities. These children must have access to trained hearing aid technicians and medical professionals to assure them of the best possible care. However, such specialist knowledge is scarce in Vietnam. It is this issue that the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is seeking to address through the “Vietnam Deaf Education Program”. With the financial support of the Hear the World Foundation, three regional audiology centers are being added to the program - alongside the existing 35 support programs and schools and two hospitals.