More than 100 people have been helped to hear more clearly thanks to a team of students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Audiology students travelled to India to help carry out screenings and fit hearing aids for people of all ages working at a hospital in Gujarat state.
There were long queues as patients walked miles to get to the hospital for free screenings. Hearing tests are a service many people in the state are unable to access because of the cost.
Among those treated was a 13 year old girl who had been unable to communicate properly because of her hearing problems. Student Lamima Chowdhury said: “She had hearing impairments from a young age so speech and communication was not there.
“She only knew basic words like mum and dad. As soon as we fitted her with hearing aids, she smiled and looked at her dad nodding her head that she could hear.”
Lamima said, as an Audiology student, the whole visit had been a special experience. She said: “As a developing audiologist, these experiences have helped me to become a better clinician. As I am currently on my clinical placement, the experiences I have encountered have allowed me to become more confident and improve my skills, including identifying pathologies and testing patients when there is a language barrier.
“This experience has been amazing and has changed my perspective on how to treat the patients I see on a daily basis.
“There were many moments that stood out, one in particular for me was when I fitted hearing aids to a young man aged 25 who was also visually impaired. I will never forget his reaction to being able to hear.
“After visiting India, it has made me want to continue delivering care for patients who do not have easy access. The India trip has also allowed me to collect research data for my final year project.
“Being able to go out to India and help those that are less fortunate and do not have access to the level of healthcare we do, has given me a sense of fulfilment and I personally wish to continue being able to help those around the world in the same situation.”
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* Find out more about Audiology at DMU
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During their six day visit, the students carried out 180 hearing tests and fitted 140 hearing aids. Each test takes around 15 to 20 minutes per patient, while it is a further 15 minutes to fit and check a hearing aid. The students were able to fit the hearing aids thanks to donations by Puretone Spectrum and RHH brands.
Wendy Stephens, senior lecturer in Audiology at DMU accompanied the students. She said: “The stand out moments for me were seeing how much the students developed both clinically and personally over a short period of time. Their confidence increased and they worked as a team – it was a joy.”
Posted on Friday 26th October 2018