One of the goals of the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is to boost existing audiology services at select early intervention centers/schools enrolled in our Vietnam Program located outside of Ho Chi Minh City. This effort will complement, not compete with, services provided by hospitals and clinics in the city.
These audiology centers will address some important needs. Teachers and families see the children on a daily basis. Having audiology services directly in the early intervention centers/schools enables these teachers to more easily collaborate with technicians to troubleshoot and address problems/changes with the child’s hearing and hearing technology.
On-site educational audiology services also enable children attending the school – and those in surrounding areas – to receive timely care for basic audiology needs. Currently, the children and their families travel for hours to Ho Chi Minh City after waiting weeks to get an appointment. This delay is detrimental to the listening and spoken language progress of the children – especially as their time for language acquisition is already short.
We identified select schools/early intervention centers enrolled in our Vietnam Program to become designated audiology centers. These centers already have some basic audiology equipment. All have technicians and teachers/therapists on staff who have been receiving training to support children with hearing loss through our Vietnam Program over the past several years.
We are in the process of securing additional audiology equipment for these centers. Each piece of equipment is expensive if purchased new. There are also logistics to work though in getting the equipment to its designated center.
We recently purchased new equipment that arrived yesterday at one of our target centers. This school has about 30 children in early intervention who are wearing hearing technology and learning to listen and talk with the support of educational professionals we have trained. Now that the equipment is installed, these children will also have quick access to audiology care they need to progress in their development.
This is another example of how the Global Foundation is helping to ensure Vietnamese professionals in Audiology and AV Practice are able to work together to help young children with hearing loss in Vietnam learn to listen and talk.