The Rotary Club of Dominica is once again rendering its services to the Dominican public through its hearing aid mission.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon President of the club, Robert Tongue, explained that various clubs have come together to assist people who require hearing aids for a small contribution of $50.
“Normally hearing aids cost a lot more in addition to that to make this project very sustainable we try to have a training session where our local persons are trained to provide service throughout the year because sometimes hearing aids require battery replacements or they need some form of adjustments so these are some of the major things that were done at this mission,” he said.
This is the third year that the Rotary club has hosted the mission.
Past President Marvlyn Birmingham added that the club partners with a number of organizations to include the Ministry of Health, Ross University, other Rotary clubs and overseas collaborators to provide this important service.
“We have collaborated to bring this important service to the people of Dominica and sometimes it is so amazing when we provide hearing aids to the people who probably never heard in their life and you see the wonder on their face, it is always a very touching and rewarding type of service,” she said.
She explained that the Rotary club has received two audio meters which will be placed in the health system to enable screening.
“We have already placed four in the district health teams and these two will go to two other district health teams,” she explained. “We will have practically the entire island covered with an audio meter in each district. Right now Roseau, Marigot, Castle Bruce and La Plaine, all received audio meters two years ago and with the two additional ones we will put one in one of the three remaining health districts either Portsmouth, St Joseph or Grandbay.”
An audio meter costs about US$1,500.
The two new audio meters were handed over to the club on Wednesday.
Thus far the mission has visited the Salybia health centre and Roseau health centre, and will move to the Portsmouth Health centre on Thursday.
The team provided ear cleaning services, hearing tests and hearing aid to the public.
Dr Sheryl Figliano, a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Boardman and owner and President of Centers for Hearing Care in Ohio, noted that it was wonderful to see patients from the last two years return for help with their hearing aids.
“If their hearing aids were broken we were able to fix or replace them, maybe clean their ears or if they needed more batteries. This year we were also able to visit the infirmary here in Roseau, and do a lot of ear cleanings and gave some hearing aids to them,” she said.
Dr Figliano pointed out that hearing aids usually cost US$1,000.
Nine doctors are currently on island carrying out the mission. They arrived on March 8th and is expected to depart on March 16th, 2014.