The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has entered a partnership with World Wide Hearing to implement a screening program in Binh Duong province, Vietnam to test approximately 11,000 kindergarten-age children for hearing loss between April 2016 and May 2017.
World Wide Hearing has supported development of low-cost audiological screening equipment that is targeted to test children living in low and middle income countries. One of the reasons World Wide Hearing sought out collaboration with the Global Foundation is because of the training we have provided to local professionals in the country. Children who do not pass the screening through this program can then be referred for follow up care by Vietnamese professionals we have trained.
Hearing screening programs are not a standard practice of care in Vietnam. Proactive identification of hearing loss in babies and young children would enable the Vietnamese health care and education communities to more effectively address the effects of pediatric hearing loss. This project provides a low-cost solution to address a need. It will raise awareness for pediatric hearing loss and the benefits of pediatric hearing screening programs. It will also demonstrate how such programs can be effectively implemented within the existing health care service provision at the province level in Vietnam.
Training of Vietnamese nurses and other local medical personnel on use of the screening equipment and program test protocol will take place in April 2016. A pilot test at select schools will immediately follow. After any adjustments are made based on the pilot results, the full program will launch in September 2016 with monthly screenings anticipated through May 2017.