COVID hygiene practices improve outcomes for hearing and audiology management program
Image: HEBHBL client having their ears checked
Marathon Health’s audiology and hearing management program Healthy Ears, Better Hearing, Better Listening reported lower numbers of vulnerable children with hearing impairments caused by illness, during the first wave of the COVID pandemic, due to increased hygiene and handwashing procedures.
The program, which provides hearing screening services to vulnerable children in preschools and schools in Western NSW, undertook hearing screenings for more than 1,700 children across 21 preschools and schools in 10 rural communities throughout 2020.
Leanne McEwen, Marathon Health Aboriginal Case Worker says a key part of the education that comes with the program includes hygiene and cleanliness.
“COVID hygiene protocols have definitely made a difference. We have noticed that with the increase of hand washing and sanitising, there has been fewer illnesses and infections causing hearing impairments,” Ms McEwen said.
“Early intervention is the key to hearing loss. The screening check is a five to ten minute procedure that can make all the difference later in life. We’re providing education within schools, which is a great place to start,” Ms McEwen said.
The ‘healthy ears’ screening checks are performed by an Audiologist who then refers on to an ear, nose and throat specialist or Hearing Australia if required.
For more information on the HEBHBL program, visit our website. This service acknowledges the support provided by RDN’s Outreach Program and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.