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. It is 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.
In September 2018, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss began a unique collaboration with Swiss-based Hear the World Foundation that will enable 10 Vietnamese children in need with significant hearing loss to hear and speak. Hear the World is donating the most current Advanced Bionics cochlear implants, the cost of the surgeries, audiological follow-up care replacement parts, and warranties and processor upgrades every five years up to 15 years. One year of auditory-verbal therapy will be be covered and provided by Vietnamese teachers and therapists who have been trained by the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss. As a result, families will receive the full spectrum of services and product they need for optimal outcomes in listening and spoken language for their children with hearing loss. Families in Vietnam selected for this project will not have to concern themselves with the cost of cochlear implants and follow up care for 15 years. This ground-breaking project is a validation of the Global Foundation's work in Vietnam since 2010. The strong infrastructure of local professional expertise that now exists in Vietnam to support children with hearing loss contributed to making this project possible.
The Mongolia Ministry of Health passed a decree in 2014 to make newborn hearing screening a national mandate. Resources and expertise were needed to make the vision of the decree a reality. Hearing screening alone is not effective. 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, in partnership with Ulaanbaatar medical professionals, developed a hearing health and education program that will address these critical needs. The program will help to establish newborn hearing screening. It will provide instruction using the Global Foundation curriculum in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice to help professionals working with children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk. The program will also work 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 hearing health and education 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.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has supplied hearing hearing screening devices to all the hospitals in Ulaanbaatar that work with newborn babies and young children and provided training on their use. Now for the first time ever, all the hospitals in the capital have the ability to screen newborns for hearing issues (about 45,000 babies annually or 51% of births in Mongolia). The Global Foundation launched its training curriculum in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice in 2017. That teaching 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.