An estimated 10,000 children in Ecuador have congenital hearing loss and are under the age of 5, the key years of child development. Ecuador has a pediatric hearing program that administers some hearing screening and offers audiology and therapy support.
The Ecuador Ministry of Public Health and the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss initiated a partnership to strengthen existing services for children with hearing loss and to further the expertise of Ecuadorian speech and hearing professionals.
With the support of the Ecuador Ministry of Public Health, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss assessed the country’s pediatric hearing health care program. We provided training in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice for Ecuadorian medical and therapy professionals working with babies and children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and speak.
The Ministry of Public Health effectively mobilized 60 medical and therapy professionals working in the government health system of public hospitals and clinics across eighteen provinces to participate in the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss training programs in both northern and southern Ecuador.
Children under 6 years of age and their parents participated in our therapy and audiology practicum sessions. Family members and caregivers also attended our Family Education program to learn about how they can support spoken language development in their children with hearing loss.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss identified opportunity areas in Ecuador’s pediatric hearing care program and made recommendations for future investment that were well received by the Ecuador Ministry of Public Health. The Ministry committed funds to purchase additional audiology equipment and therapy resources for the facilities involved in the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss training program as a show of early support for the initiative.
The participants in the training programs were enthusiastic to share how they would incorporate new techniques and procedures they learned from the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss into their daily practice and seek collaboration with other members of the pediatric hearing care team to benefit the children and families they serve.