The Starkey Hearing Foundation of the United States of America has partnered with the Rotary Club of Dominica and the Ministry of Health to bring relief to the hearing impaired.
The mission started last Wednesday with orientation and training for local health staff. The mission then moved on to the Portsmouth health district on Thursday where patients from St. Joseph, Marigot, and Portsmouth health districts who were pre-screened by nurses were given hearing aids at no cost to them.
On Friday, which was the final testing day of the mission, individuals from the Roseau, Grand Bay, Castle Bruce, and the La Plaine health districts gathered at the Goodwill Parish Hall to be seen.
Service Projects Coordinator of the Rotary Club of Dominica, Marvlyn Birmingham, spoke with GIS news about the mission.
“We saw sixty-four in Portsmouth yesterday, but we fitted forty-three and provided 79 hearing aids. Today we have a little over one hundred who have pre-screened for the Roseau center and we expect to fit a number of them with hearing aids,” she informed.
Birmingham also informed that an after-care program has been implemented to monitor the individuals who have received hearing aids.
“One of the greater things of this program is the level of sustainability, in that there is a great aftercare program. Every month the people who received hearing aids are followed up and if they have any difficulties with the hearing aids, the nurses and the people who have been trained review them and ensure that the hearing aids are working well. If the hearing aids are not working well then we can reach out to our Starkey Hearing Foundation for a replacement of hearing aids.”
Starkey’s International Development Director for the Caribbean, Kirk Richards says the foundation is happy to assist the health sector in Dominica. Richards encouraged the public to avoid activities which may affect their hearing.
“From what I am seeing here, I notice that Dominicans love their music and they would drive by and you would hear music. It is important that they turn down the volume on the radio and start paying attention…it is very important that we start taking care of our ears.”
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson, represented the Hon Minister of Health, Dr. Kenneth Darroux. Dr. Johnson thanked Starkey Hearing Foundation and described their contribution to Dominica as invaluable.