Clinicians Without Borders
Volunteer to train health officials in developing countries about hearing health and rehabilitative services!
Idea At A Glance
Many people live in areas with limited access to hearing healthcare. Make a difference and volunteer a week of your time to work in mobile hearing clinics around the world.
Audiologists and ENT specialists can work together in groups for one week at a time, visiting local schools to raise awareness among children using puppets and fun visual aids. At the schools, the team can train teachers on how to identify hearing loss and help students manage their hearing loss in the classroom.
The team could also educate local healers and doctors about the importance of hearing health, so that awareness continues long after the team departs. You could also collaborate with hearing aid manufacturers and nonprofit organizations to seek funding for diagnostic equipment and hearing instruments for in-need populations.
Currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Texas in Dallas, Professor Jackie Clark is the chair of the Humanitarian Audiologists group in the International Society of Audiology. The committee helps coordinate humanitarian activities and educate audiologists on WHO guidelines for providing hearing aids in developing countries.
Since 1998, Professor Clark has traveled to countries in southern Africa to provide free audiological services to in-need populations. Her trips are made possible through personal funds and donations from manufacturers and organizations.
In both developed and developing countries, many individuals lack access to hearing health care services. In these regions, infants often do not receive hearing tests. Many may live their entire life with an undiagnosed hearing loss.
Training local health officials to conduct hearing tests and offer rehabilitative services can help improve the lives of millions with hearing loss. Educating teachers about hearing loss can enable them to identify children that would otherwise fail to receive proper treatment.