Free hearing aids given to the needy
More than 200 people have been fitted with free hearing aids by a team of Kiwi Audiologists at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.
Team leader and Audiologist, Kierrin Chapman, told the Samoa Observer they also provided wax removal to 180 people of all ages over three days last week.
The team, from Bay Audiology, offered free services and equipment to Samoa as there are no audiology services in the country and there is no way for people to receive comprehensive treatment for their hearing problems, according to Ms. Chapman.
“Throughout the year, Bay Audiology clients are encouraged to donate their old [or] no longer required hearing aids which we clean up and bring over to Samoa to fit to people who have hearing loss,” she said.
“We also provided various services to the Samoan people like ear wax removal using micro-suction, hearing tests, fitting of donated hearing aids with no cost to clients or hospital or Samoa.”
The New Zealand audiologist also have an ongoing partnership with Senese Secondary Inclusive Education.
“The national hospital [Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital] also supported our work and we work closely with Dr. Sione Pifeleti in the E.N.T. (ear, nose and throat) department to provide these services and ensure that people receive all treatment necessary.
“Senese works really hard to support the people that we fit with hearing aids but they are not audiologists and therefore can only provide limited services.
“And because we are using donated hearing aids, the people of Samoa have access to great hearing without needing to spend any money travelling to New Zealand or Australia where they would have to purchase hearing aids privately.”
She also added the Motootua hospital allowed them to use rooms in the E.N.T. department along with assistance from Dr. Sione to help coordinate the use of the rooms.
“We acknowledge Senese – for the help coordinating this trip, providing advertising for our visit and triaging people for our services and also doing amazing work throughout the year supporting people with their hearing aids," she said.
Ms. Chapman also thanked Dr. Sione and two nurses for coordinating the use of hospital rooms and working to ensure treatments were performed smoothly.
“And not forgetting the people of Samoa for being so welcoming – it is a real pleasure to be able to help so many people who otherwise might not have been able to access assistance with their hearing," she said.
The audiology team includes: Kierrin Chapman (team leader and audiologist), Emily Spence (coordinator and audiologist), Alex McMullan (audiologist), Rishitha Hosabettu (audiologist), Richelle Streher-Bruce (ear nurse), Susan Kiddie (Hearing Aid Care and management), and Darmanine Ensor (Hearing Aid Care and management).