Lending a hand for kids ears

REACHING OUT: Audiologist Greg Butcher tests the hearing of a child in South Africa.
REACHING OUT: Audiologist Greg Butcher tests the hearing of a child in South Africa.

GRAFTON audiologist Greg Butcher has been busy. Fresh from his work leading the Clarence Valley Orchestra and Chorus in music sweet to the ears of locals, he spent last week working in the schools of South Africa, volunteering in a hearing screening outreach program at a local primary school near Groblersdal.

The NWA Clinic and Outreach Program was a chance for 10 Australian audiologists to help out, screening up to 120 primary school children aged from five to 10 for any hearing problems.

The morning session saw plenty of pebbles stuck in ears and a few reports of otitis media (glue ear) sufferers. These children were all referred on for further medical treatment at the local hospital.

The volunteering opportunity came about from attending an audiology conference at the Kapama Private Game Reserve Conference Centre in Kruger National Park.

Mr Butcher said it was an opportunity to see how disadvantaged South Africa's health system really was and also the fantastic things the outreach programs had been achieving over.

As a local Rotarian, he was also pleased to see two other Rotarians working with him on the project.

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