VIETNAM -- MONGOLIA
There are approximately 42,000 children under the age of 5 with hearing loss in Vietnam. Vietnam has a shortage of trained professionals and resources to serve these young children and their families.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has been working in Vietnam since 2010. Our Vietnam Program is helping the country build professional expertise and essential services across hearing health care and early education for children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk.
The ultimate goal is to establish a strong foundation of in-country expertise and resources that young children with hearing loss need so they can integrate into mainstream schools alongside peers of typical hearing.
Training programs covering pediatric audiology, speech pathology, auditory-verbal practice, and early intervention are offered to Vietnamese teachers, therapists, audiology technicians, and medical doctors.
The Global Foundation professional team contributes to the curriculum and travels to Vietnam throughout the year to lead lectures and coach the Vietnamese in practicum sessions with children. Consultation support and video work is also provided.
Participants engage in the training programs over time to build their skills. They are prepared to administer professional services to the children and their families, and also to train others in the country, making the benefits exponential -- and sustainable.
Hearing aids are provided to children in need who are supported ongoing in their listening and spoken language development by the Vietnamese professionals we have trained. This way, we can ensure progress in the children after they get hearing aids.
The Global Foundation has supported development of three educational centers in different regions of Vietnam that provide pediatric audiology and early intervention services to young children with hearing loss. These centers are staffed by Vietnamese professionals that have been trained by the Global Foundation.
The Global Foundation is also collaborating with the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences within the Ministry of Education. We are training therapists who will be tasked with training future teachers and therapists in auditory-verbal practice for children with hearing loss throughout Vietnam.
Since Summer 2010, we have trained over 220 teachers, 270 families, and 125 medical and other professionals. We have fit hundreds of hearing aids on young children. Our Vietnam Program is directly benefitting over 1000 children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Please visit our Success Stories page for testimonials from grateful parents. The Director of Thuan An Center in Vietnam wrote this letter reflecting on progress made and the impact of this program.
COCHLEAR IMPLANT PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN IN NEED
In September 2018, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss began a unique collaboration with Swiss-based Hear the World Foundation to enable 10 Vietnamese children with significant hearing loss to hear and speak. Hear the World donated the most current Advanced Bionics cochlear implants and financed the cost of surgeries and ongoing audiology support. It is also covering the cost of replacement parts, warranties and processor upgrades for the children for the next 15 years.
Auditory-verbal therapy for the 10 children in the program is covered and provided by Vietnamese teachers and therapists who have been trained by the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss.
As a result, the children and their families are receiving the full spectrum of services and product they need for optimal outcomes in listening and spoken language. Families in Vietnam selected for this project will not have to concern themselves with the cost of cochlear implants and habilitation costs for 15 years.
The strong infrastructure of locally-based professional expertise that exists in Vietnam, in part due to the Global Foundation's work over the past decade, contributed to making this project possible.
The Mongolia Ministry of Health issued a decree in 2014 to make newborn hearing screening a national mandate. However, resources and training were needed to make the mandate a reality. The Mongolian medical community also recognized a need to strengthen its existing professional services for babies and children identified with hearing loss and their families.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss entered into a partnership with the Mongolia National Center for Maternal and Child Health to develop and implement a program to address these critical needs by establishing newborn hearing screening and providing training in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice to Mongolian professionals working with children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk. The program also works to raise awareness in the professional and general community for pediatric hearing loss, its implications, and how it can be addressed.
The program launched in September 2016 with a focus on developing early identification, audiology, and early intervention services in Ulaanbaatar. The initiative will eventually scale to the provinces outside the capital. The program is projected to benefit 6,000 babies and young children with hearing loss in the first five years after full implementation.
Between 2016 and 2018, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss supplied hearing hearing screening devices to all five birthing hospitals in Ulaanbaatar and surrounding districts. These hospitals cover abut 50% of all births in Mongolia. In the second half of 2018, these hospitals fully established hearing screening into their newborn evaluation protocol. It was reported that over 33,000 newborns were screened in 2018, the highest number ever, and that about 200 had confirmed hearing loss that would require habilitation. The Global Foundation launched its training curriculum in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice in 2017. This training program continues as we help the Mongolians develop and expand professional expertise in these areas. The training will ensure that babies and young children identified through the screening have appropriate support in their country to learn to listen and talk after being fit with hearing aids and cochlear implants.
DID YOU KNOW?
HEARING LOSS IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST COMMON birth anomalies AND YET among THE LEAST SUPPORTED.