All Ears Cambodia
Paediatric ear and hearing care
All Ears Cambodia provides a unique medical service in a country torn by years of war. It works with all Cambodians from newborns to the elderly - helping them to hear.
Years: 2014, 2015
All Ears Cambodia are fighting to eliminate preventable hearing loss and ensure every Cambodian child and adult in need of a hearing aid can receive appropriate rehabilitative support. Founded by British audiologist Glyn Vaughan, the dedicated clinical team are all Cambodian nationals (50% female) trained by Glyn through a two year programme. Senior clinicians have now in turn become the teachers, leading the new recruits to become Primary Ear and Hearing Care Clinicians. The team support newborns to the elderly, focusing on those most vulnerable and hardest hit.
Fifty percent of hearing loss is preventable. In developing countries like Cambodia, chronic ear infection is a leading cause, particularly in children. Management of infection is commonly overlooked leading to needless hearing loss and life-threatening complications. Without access to appropriate healthcare, ear infection commonly progresses, permanently damaging the ear. For those with impairment, less than 3% have access to hearing aids. Approximately 750,000 children have hearing loss in Cambodia.
In Cambodia troubled ears are jabbed with chicken quills and traditional healers (kru khmer) advise inappropriate treatment in the absence of professional healthcare. Ear infection in some villages is so common it is almost considered normal. Mothers question why their child’s ear has not discharged yet, thinking it a normal part of growth. In other severe cases, children’s ears are super-glued to cease the flow of pungent discharge.
Following a model championed by the World Health Organisation , All Ears Cambodia combines cost effective primary ear healthcare to prevent hearing loss, with rehabilitative hearing aid fittings for those with a hearing impairment. In this project, paediatric clinics will be delivered daily to detect hearing loss early and provide rehabilitation, and to tackle pre-cursor infection to prevent hearing loss.