Audiology outreach

Frank Hilton organisation’s staff visits to Nadi Centre for Special Education.Photo FHO

The Frank Hilton Organization which is the Suva Branch of the Fiji Crippled Children’s Society, has for many years provided services to children with disabilities in Suva.

Currently, the Non-Government Organisation take the first step to expand their outreach to the West.

Frank Hilton Organisation Programme Co-ordinator Shabina Dean said the Audiology Department planned on screening approximately 600 children from six Special School since November 6 to 10 last year and continued this year to test the ones that did not attended to and also in need re-test ones on a new environment, amongst the visits today is the Nadi Centre for Special Education.

“The team started in Ra and wrapped up in Sigatoka with assistance and acknowledging Dr. Donna Carkeet and Dr. Oh who volunteered their time and services to make this project a success,” she added.

“Approximately 306 children from 6 special schools were screened, 60 children received treatment from ENT who joined us for a day, 66 children referred to hospitals for follow up treatment, 58 identified for further diagnostic testing at FHO Suva clinic.

Dean said about 126 cleared and will not require any further action and 224 children were absent from school on the day of screening or were not consented for screening.

“The Western Special Schools outreach project was a great experience for the team,” she added.

The team, she said have learned to re-evaluate community awareness and education strategies to ensure parents, teachers and community at large understand the many contributing factors that cause hearing loss in children; as well as identifying hearing impairment at an early age.

Nadi Centre for Special Education protection officer Mohenesh Singh said it was good opportunity for the student to have such visit because there are student who unable to afford it personally.

“I think this also helps parents and teacher to understand their child hearing disability status,” he added.Upcoming visits will be conducted in the Northern division.