Earbus Foundation of Western Australia
Youth Ear Health Ambassadors
December 2015 - December 2016
According to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2014 Report, in 2012-13 the proportion of Indigenous children with ear health problems was twice the rate for that of non-Indigenous children, with WA recording the highest rates at 11%. Without functional hearing it is very difficult for these children to access appropriate education.
Earbus Foundation of WA is a children's charity that works with experts from education, health, culture and communities to reduce the incidence and impact of middle-ear disease in Aboriginal children living in remote and regional WA.
Our funding will enable Earbus Foundation to employ an Enrolled Nurse to work alongside the Earbus Clinical Team during their tour of remote communities in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions every month. The nurse will educate, train and support Aboriginal adolescents, enabling them to develop robust knowledge, skills and expertise to play a meaningful role in their own communities in improving ear health.
The project will identify and develop several young Ear Health Ambassadors in each community who can help raise awareness of the insidious nature and impact of middle-ear disease on the life opportunities of Aboriginal children.
The Ear Health Ambassadors will be empowered with skills and knowledge to become local advocates for some of the important self-care treatments that are essential in the successful management of middle-ear disease. This includes Betadine washes and proper ear care, nose blowing, hand hygiene and infection control, and taking prescribed medications (especially antibiotics) in a way that minimises potential harm.
By giving the Ear Health Ambassadors the practical and theoretical expertise required to perform important self-care treatments that are essential in the treatment and management of middle-ear disease, this project will build community capacity and empowerment to break the intergenerational cycle of middle-ear disease in Aboriginal communities.
For more information on the program visit: www.earbus.org or check out the video below: