Expert Hearing Solutions Audiologist Returning to Help Guatemala
February of 2018 was an important time for one of our audiologists, Courtney Brown. She traveled with a group called Faith in Practice, an organization that sends medical and surgical teams to Guatemalan villages year round. Each village team consists of about 40 people and includes a mix of translators, family physicians, pediatricians, gynecologists, dentists, pharmacists, OTs, PTs, and audiologists.
These groups travel to the most remote villages and set up different clinics in the classrooms of the local schools. Patients line up in the morning and are triaged to the different clinics (general medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, audiology, wheelchair clinic, dental and pharmacy) depending on their needs. Any patients needing surgical procedures are referred and transported to a larger city with the required facilities.
In only 4 days, Courtney’s entire team saw over 2000 patients. With only two audiologists on the team, 160 people were treated by Courtney and the other audiologist. Many issues were caused by wax filled ears but over 30 hearing aid fittings were completed. Courtney said, “It was a very different experience fitting patients in Guatemala because there is no concern about stigma at all. Everyone is just thrilled to be able to hear again and are so grateful.”
Guatemala has virtually no health care system, so illnesses are common and the clinics set up by this team were incredibly busy. Life changing moments were seen each day as Courtney recalls, “People would walk in on their hands and leave with a wheelchair. There were people with tumours the size of cantaloupes. The need there is astounding.”
Courtney will be returning this February to continue her work in Guatemala and the team is fundraising to cover the cost of medical supplies for the trip. Each team member covers the cost of their travel and their stay, but the rest of the costs are funded with the help of generous donors.
Any donation, big or small is greatly appreciated and can be made here:
On behalf of Courtney and the entire Expert Hearing Solutions team, we thank you in advance for your generosity.