Since 2001, Cubex has supported BRINOS in helping thousands of Nepalis achieve better hearing. Adam Shulberg, Senior Audiologist and MD of Cubex initiated the audiology programme and is responsible for facilitating, training and supervising seven Community Ear workers (CEA's) and over 700 volunteers.
The provision of hearing aids and advice is a vital step in the help that can be offered to people with hearing loss. Under the co-ordination of a team of CEA's and Cubex (UK) an Audiology programme is now running in Western Nepal and offers a sustainable hearing care service. In developing countries this presents many difficulties, hearing aids are sophisticated devices which require batteries and maintenance. Each hearing aid has to be fitted individually with a well fitting ear mould, verified and the patient and their family then require counselling and training. By training the Primary Ear Care workers in hearing aid fitting maintenance and counselling, Adam has established a fully sustainable hearing care service.
More recently, Adam and his wife Jerusha Shulberg; also an Audiologist, initiated a school and community screening programme and introduced digital hearing instruments to the Himalayas. The Primary Ear Care workers have now been trained in early intervention screening, otoscopy, tympanometry, audiometry, hearing aid fitting and maintenance and making appropriate referrals to the ear surgery camp. A small ear mould production facility is also in place.
"Our last trip was very much about education. Previous visits had been challenging, with only one audiologist having to supervise and attend to over 30 patients per day. With 2 of us we were able to spend much more time teaching, providing quality support and educational materials to ensure a transfer of skills so the work can continue in our absence. Over the last 9 years that I have been involved in this project, we have taken it from zero provision to where we are today with an enthusiastic and proficient local team, providing accurate hearing tests; appropriate hearing aid selection; fittings of analogue and digital hearing instruments with verification and earmould manufacture. We are now also able to provide hearing aid servicing; rehabilitation; educational tools for filtering and transferring skills; paediatric screening and most importantly – sustainability," says Mr Shulberg. "We are also pleased to have the support of members from our highly skilled Audiology team here at Cubex to help with our ongoing education efforts in Nepal in the future".
Adam continues, "It was always my aim to provide a fully sustainable program; that is the key. Nepali's are proud people and their only wish is to be independent. All they need now are the "tools" to continue this work. Educating and supporting the Nepal based team has been a great source of pleasure, reward and joy for me and I look forward to meeting our aims and objectives" The charity is currently meeting the needs of nearly a million people. The help received so far has made an enormous impact on the lives of less fortunate hearing impaired people, many of whom are now able to hear for the first time. Adam would like to thank all those who've supported the charity.
If you would like to make a donation please call Cubex on 0207 935 5511.