Like many regional WA towns, a lot of people in Parnngurr suffer from chronic ear aches and pains - and for the less than 50 school children in Parnngurr, getting their ears checked is a rare opportunity.
As part of their regional trips, Healthy Ears team members Selina Moyle, Holly Menegola and Anton Hinton-Bayre boarded a plane to the small Pilbara town to check and treat each child’s ears so they could have less pain and an easier time at school.
For Audiologist Holly Menegola, it was her first time working with the experienced Healthy Ears team – and it’s not something she’ll easily forget.
“It felt so worthwhile, because we were making a difference to these kids.”
While in Parnngurr, the Healthy Ears team worked directly with the local school to check every child’s ears.
“The school was so proactive in finding out about their students’ potential learning difficulties and how they could help. At the end of our testing, we could tell the teachers which children needed more support to learn because of their hearing, then give them some strategies.”
One of the things that struck Holly was how resilient the children were.
“I remember helping one child with an ear infection that would have been really painful, and he was just a champion about it. They all played together straight afterwards.”
Holly also recalls being impressed with the local school’s healthy initiatives.
“The kids were asking for more antibac wipes to clean their hands, so the school did. They also gave out more sandwiches and fruit for better nutrition, and talked about important things like hygiene.
These all help to prevent things from happening with the kids’ ears in the long run.”
While in Parnngurr, the team also tested new health technology. Using the new system, the patients’ data could be privately and safely accessed by health professionals who may later perform surgeries as the children get older and see other professionals. With full knowledge of their audiograms and hearing health history, they can be more informed to provide better treatment for each child.
Find out more about our Healthy Ears team and other community programs.