Thanks to generous funding from Glencore, the Children’s Hospital Foundation has been able to purchase an Infant Diagnostic Teleaudiology Kit to broaden the reach of Children’s Health Queensland’s Healthy Hearing Program and provide better health outcomes for rural, regional and remote families and children.
This vital program provides early identification of hearing problems in babies and children to ensure the best possible trajectory for their growth and development. While all newborns undergo initial audiology assessments, those who do not pass require further diagnostic screening to determine the extent of hearing loss detected to inform an appropriate treatment plan.
Unfortunately, access to advanced infant diagnostic audiology services can be challenging for many rural and regional families due to limited locations and equipment. Many have previously been required to travel long distances – often to Brisbane – to receive the best care for their children, requiring the additional coordination of childcare for siblings, time off work, and expenses for overnight stays and transit. These barriers have directly contributed to poor attendance rates, often leading to significant negative impacts on a child’s long-term development due to lack of early diagnosis and treatment.
By supporting us to purchase this equipment, Glencore have facilitated the delivery of a vital telehealth outreach service in Mount Isa, which also services other remote and regional areas such as Weipa and Bundaberg. Not only does this relieve the many practical pressures faced by families in attending long-distance appointments, it also means that in the case where a significant hearing loss is diagnosed, families can be assisted within the comfort of their home and surrounded by a crucial support network to help them through a difficult time.