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MLWP Rolls Out Hearing Health Study

Dr. Hampton Dr. Hampton - pic by Enock Phiri

As the World is commemorating hearing day today, the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Program (MLWP) says it has commenced a study that will screen 1, 000 learners in Blantyre to probe their hearing efficiency.

The organisation Clinical PHD Fellow, Dr Thomas Hampton has told Zodiak that through the study, they expect to identify 30 to 60 learners with hearing impairment and provide them with supportive hearing devices.

He believes this will bring out the magnitude of the problem and give children proper support to attend school.

“Part of the study we are doing together is going to involve screening in schools, community, so we can work out how big an issue of hearing health is for children in Malawi.

“And what we do is when we find a child with a hearing issue, we gonna see if we can use a new hearing device,” said Dr Hampton

Meanwhile, Research Assistant officer at Malawi National Association for the Deaf, MANAD, Meria Nkhwalala has bemoaned shortage of specialized teachers in schools which she says is hampering inclusive education in the country.

“In the education sector, we have teachers who are not knowledgeable in sign language and we are also trying to assist to make sure that citizens and teachers know some basics in handling deaf children,” said Nkhwalala.

She also complained that it is worrisome that most deaf people in Malawi, especially the youth do not have many opportunities to uplift their lives.

The two made the sentiments at Chichiri secondary school in Blantyre during the commemoration of world hearing day on Thursday.

This comes when many deaf people in Malawi feel overlooked. There are extremely very few ear, nose and throat surgeons and audiologists. Further to it, there is also a chronic shortage of sign language instructors meaning that most deaf people have no way of communicating with colleagues at work, teachers at school, employers, police and health care workers.

Recently, MANAD Executive Director, Byson Chimenya told us that more needs to be done to improve their rights and living standard.

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