State-of-the art hearing health care services have arrived at Ebeye’s Leiroj Kitlang Memorial Health Center.
Ebeye hospital administration identified space that was modified for a sound-controlled three-room auditory (hearing) test suite.
The suite is equipped with the latest in auditory test equipment, permitting a full range of pure tone and speech testing, analysis of middle-ear status, and auditory brain stem testing. The equipment can assess hearing in infants, children, and adults, even those who are unable to participate in objective hearing testing.
The testing room was built and equipped using funds from the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program, administered on behalf of the Marshall Islands by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii. The EHDI team consists of a pediatric audiologist Dr. Yusnita Weirather, an ENT surgeon Dr. Richard Wagner, Marshall Islands EHDI coordinator Chinilla Pedro, who is based on Majuro, and university Principal Investigator of the grant funds Jean Johnson. The team has made several visits to Ebeye, including as recently as last month. Working with hospital nurses, the team saw 105 patients in August for audiological testing and 112 for ENT examination. They performed 20 surgical procedures.
The team also brought with them three cartons of expensive antibiotic ear drops, donated by the US pharmaceutical company Alcon Laboratories of Fort Worth, Texas, and other supplies for the hospital. The ear drop donation is valued at over $40,000.
A baby identified with significant hearing loss from birth was fitted with binaural hearing aids. The team will be returning to Ebeye in January 2017. “The program on Ebeye is a success due to the wholehearted support of the administration, the medical staff, and the nurses,” said Johnson.
Read more about this in the September 23, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.