Updated Jul 09, 2020

The gift of hearing - screening newborns and young children from poor families in South Africa for hearing impairments

http://careldutoit.co.za/

Margaret Roestorf

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Childhood deafness is a silent disability, often undetected, and leads to children growing up bewildered and isoloated due to the lack of communication. Diagnosis and intervention are life-changing; the gifts of hearing, speech and language pricelss.

Screening is not a complex procedure and screeners are trained and monitored in-house at CDTC. Screening tests are able to pin-point the areas which are deficient. Young children with as little as 3% hearing can be successfully habilitated, and those who have acquired language prior to onset of deafness. Results from screenings are shared with CDTC where early intervention occurrs through fitti...
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Screening is not a complex procedure and screeners are trained and monitored in-house at CDTC. Screening tests are able to pin-point the areas which are deficient. Young children with as little as 3% hearing can be successfully habilitated, and those who have acquired language prior to onset of deafness. Results from screenings are shared with CDTC where early intervention occurrs through fitting and monitoring of hearing technology, and methodology to develop hearing, speech and language.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Newborn hearing screening is not a requirement in South Africa. Many children live with undetected hearing impairments. CDTT's current Situational Analysis data will show the importance of screening driven by our specialist dedicated organisation.

Focus Areas:

Disability, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Health Systems and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Disability, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Health Systems and Parent & Family EngagementSEE LESS

30,000
Lives Impacted to Date
1
Key Partner
10,700
Customers
77
Employees
$300,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

In South Africa newborn screening for childhood hearing impairments is not obligatory, which results in many children from poor families living with deaf children unaware of their condition, or in denial; equally children who develop late onset hearing impairments through neglected ear infections fall through the net. Through early diagnosis and intervention CDT Centre and 3E (ears and eyes for education) Project are able to teach these children to hear, speak, develop knowledge and language.

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Solution

The 3E (ears and eyes for education) Project screens young children within poor communities for hearing and sight impairments; hearing impaired children who have acquiared speach move into the Carel du Toit Centre sytem and with the aid of hearing technology and CDTC methodology are able to integrate into a hearing society. Newborn screening identifies babies and they enter the CHAT (family friendly) Centre at CDTC with their parents to journey towards achieving hearing, speech and language.

Target Beneficiaries

Newborn babies and young children from families living in low- or no-income families living on social grants. The Carel du Toit Centre was established in 1973 with the belief that deaf children could acquire hearing, speech, knowledge and language through berst amplfication and daylong listening. 46 years of successfully working with children (0 - 10 yrs) has radically improved the lives of thousands of children.

Mission and Vision

To radically improve the lives of children living with hearing impairments through the aid of technology and methodology. To take hands with their parents/care-givers to embrace their child's impairment. so that together with the family, the 3E Project and Carel du Toit Centre team of audiologists and specialists we can enhance the life of the child through learning to hear, speak, acquire knowledge and language so that they can live full lives and thrive in a hearing society.

Competitive Advantage

In Africa there is no other programme / organisation offering the same service and consequently, achieving similar successes. The key to success is the early identification of the problem, and more importantly, the intervention with child and parents to embrace deafness and to work towards a solution. The choice for the child to learn to hear, speak and acquiare language is made by the parents, the alternative being a choice to use signing to communicate. Hearing, speach and language enable children to integrate into a hearing society, which offers that many more opportunities than for Deaf people who use signing. Our methodology is unique in Africa, and although it requires dedication and disciplaine from the children and their parents the rewards are life-changing.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We have plans to extend our services to other communities with the same demographic. This requires an increase in staffing and also an increase in physical capacity at the CHAT Centre. We also have embarked on an e-training platform to share our skills more widely through Africa and within South Africa, as there is a desperate shortage of access to knowledge with regards to deafness - in particular in children. To raise awareness about deafness and to remove the stigma associated with it.
Funding Goal300,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted25,000
New Implemented CountriesSouth Africa
Recruit2 management, 5 implementors (screeners)
New Feature3E Project (ears and eyes for education) screening young children in impoverished communities to identify late onset childhood hearing impairments.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Our knowledgeable, dedicated and compassionate team are employed by, or deployed by, the Carel du Toit Centre for deaf children which has a record of excellence for the past 46 years. The team comprises trained, experienced audiologists, with screeners trained in our in-house programme (as no other training exists). The team includes full-time speech and occupational therapists, social workers and teachers with specialist teaching qualifications to deal with childhood deafness,

Milestone

Jul 2020
Lives Impacted
5,000
Apr 2019
Lives Impacted
25,000
Aug 2020
Created
Jul 2020
Created
Sep 2018
Created