Final year Audiology students took to the streets of Clermont, Durban, to commemorate World Hearing Day.
Accompanied by their tutors and lecturers, the students marched from Clermont Clinic through the taxi rank and to the Clermont Hall spreading messages to the community about hearing loss impact and deaf awareness.
Fourth-year student, Miss Nabeelah Desai, said: ‘This was a class initiative given to us as an assignment for our clinical module: Aural Rehabilitation. The event was about health promotion and prevention – key aspects for audiologists.’
World Hearing Day is an annual event organised by the World Health Organization on 3 March. UKZN students hosted their activities a day early.
The aim of the day was to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world. The theme for the day was: “Action for Hearing Loss: Make a Sound Investment”.
After the March, students returned to the clinic to do a variety of presentations on hearing awareness, and also visited different sections of the clinic.
Audiology student, Ms Amanda Mkhulisi did a skit for learners from the Siyabathanda Day Care Special School. The presentation was about the dangers of excessive headphone use and loud music.
The community also heard about the appropriate way to clean their ears.
Students touched on prevention, screening for early identification, rehabilitation through hearing devices, captioning and sign language education. The importance of early detection and intervention of hearing loss in infants and young children were emphasised.
All the Clermont Clinic facilities including an HIV unit, a medical/general clinic, a school for children with special needs and an occupational therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy centre, benefited from the event.
There were also discussions with the community about hearing loss. ie risk factors - causes and, prevention.
Students made crafts - including ear crowns - with members of the community while others benefited from the presentations about anatomy and physiology of the ear, hearing loss and ear wax.
Discussions and presentations to taxi drivers at the Clermont Rank concentrated on the dangers of listening to loud music, hearing loss and general ear care.
After the awareness campaign, students handed out information pamphlets, brochures, booklets and flyers to the public regarding hearing loss, ear care and how to communicate with people with hearing loss.
They also distributed pencil cases to children and donated books to the school for special needs youngsters.