Free health clin­ics mu­sic to the ears

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Sam Gibbs

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School has wel­comed the ex­pan­sion of a WA health pro­gram aimed at im­prov­ing ear health for Abo­rig­i­nal students.

On av­er­age, Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren have the high­est rate of oti­tis me­dia, a mid­dle ear in­fec­tion, which can lead to hear­ing loss in the world.

The Ear­bus Foun­da­tion of WA of­fers free mo­bile ear clin­ics and fol­low-up ser­vices for Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren and other at-risk chil­dren.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion ex­panded from the South West to Wa­roona, thanks to $20,000 in fund­ing from Al­coa and a fur­ther $14,000 from Per­son­nel Em­ployed at Al­coa Char­ity Help.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School prin­ci­pal Cathy De Thierry said the school was ea­ger to work with Ear­bus to im­prove the health of students and the qual­ity of their learn­ing.

“Of­ten students can’t par­tic­i­pate fully in tasks, which re­quire lis­ten­ing skills,” Mrs De Thierry said.

“They of­ten don’t re­alise they have dif­fi­cul­ties, but just fail to make progress.”

“Hav­ing reg­u­lar Ear­bus checks will en­sure that these hear­ing is­sues are iden­ti­fied and man­aged be­fore they lead to learn­ing prob­lems.”

Ear­bus Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Hig­gin­botham said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was de­lighted to ex­tend the South West Ear­bus pro­gram to Wa­roona.

“We want Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren in class­rooms to be able to hear, so they can reach their full po­ten­tial,” he said.

Al­coa’s Wagerup com­mu­nity re­la­tions man­ager Tom Busher said the work by the Ear­bus Foun­da­tion was a key part of en­sur­ing all school chil­dren in the re­gion could ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the class­room and re­ceive the best ed­u­ca­tion pos­si­ble.

“Ear­bus Foun­da­tion’s work will mean that any hear­ing im­ped­i­ments will be iden­ti­fied as early as pos­si­ble, so they can be treated be­fore they im­pact fur­ther on the chil­dren’s school­ing,” Tom said.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School head boy Liam Wheeler, Ear­bus Foun­da­tion South West co-or­di­na­tor Caris Jalla and head girl Am­ber Smith.

Ear­bus Foun­da­tion hear­ing screener Jam­mima West, Ear­bus nurse Dee Parker and Ear­bus nurse prac­ti­tioner Vic­to­ria Thomas.

Pic­ture: Sam Gibbs

Starlight Foun­da­tion cap­tain Silly, Wa­roona Dis­trict High School head boy Liam Wheeler, head girl Am­ber Smith and Cap­tain Smi­ley at the school's of­fi­cial launch for the Ear­bus Foun­da­tion.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School students Tra­maine Shea, Year 9, Jamie-Lee Ben­nell, Year 10, and Kenny Kelly, Year 9.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School students James and Jor­dan Ben­nell, both Year 4.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School students Bon­nie Win­mar, Year 3, and Meeya Ben­nell, Year 6.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School Year 1 stu­dent Joel Kelly, and Char­lie de Bont, Year 2.

Wa­roona Dis­trict High School Year 4 stu­dent Jor­dan Ben­nell gets his ears checked by Jam­mima West.

Nurse Dee Parker per­forms a test on Wa­roona Dis­trict High School Year 6 stu­dent Meeya Ben­nell.

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