The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has partnered with the Mongolia medical community to support a Ministry of Health initiative to identify babies and young children with hearing loss in Mongolia and provide appropriate treatment. Early identification of hearing loss and subsequent early intervention services are essential for a young child with hearing loss to develop on par with hearing peers.
This week, the Global Foundation successfully distributed hearing screening equipment to all five hospitals in the capitol of Ulaanbaatar that work with young children – three maternal hospitals, a pediatric hospital, and a general hospital — with the support of the Peace Avenue Ulaanbaatar Rotary Club. Rotary clubs in Seattle and Mongolia contributed funds to help finance the cost of the equipment. The three maternal hospitals in Ulaanbaatar serve 45% of all babies born in Mongolia. Collectively, it is anticipated that these five hospitals in the capitol will screen about 35,000 babies annually once the intra-hospital newborn hearing screening process is fully implemented.
We also partnered with our equipment supplier, PATH Medical, to lead a training workshop on newborn hearing screening programs/strategies and use of the equipment. Thirty-three Mongolian ENT doctors, pediatricians, nurses, and therapists from the five hospitals attended the training along with colleagues from private hospitals in the area. Our favorite highlight was visiting the hospital nurseries where the participants practiced screening newborn babies less than 24 hours old. There is nothing like a cute baby – and all babies are cute!
The Mongolians were grateful to have this equipment and training. We are now working together on plans for a training program in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice so the Mongolians are best prepared to support their babies and young children identified with hearing loss through this initiative.