The Basma Center for Audiology and Speech Therapy, affiliated with the Emaar Association for Development and Rehabilitation, has begun implementing the Qatar Red Crescent Foundation-funded project: audio detection and early intervention for hearing impairment in newborns in Gaza.
Basma Center began conducting audiological examinations for children who were transferred from the project’s targeted clinics, according to Emaar’s Deputy Director-General, Emad Esleem.
Emaar is collaborating with five of the ten clinics chosen for this project. These clinics are distributed evenly between government and UNRWA clinics across the Gaza Strip’s governorates, mainly the central region, Khan Younis and Rafah. According to Esleem, there will be audiological examinations for newborns who have hearing issues during their initial examination at the clinic. These examinations are taken place during the newborn’s first week of vaccinations. If the examination results are negative, the child is transferred to Emaar to undergo more accurate and consistent tests in a more specialized environment with more advanced devices, such as the auditory brainstem response (ABR), to determine whether or not they have hearing problems.
Esleem confirmed that hearing aids will be installed behind the children’s ears in the future phases of the project for those who are found to have hearing loss. The project also includes audio-verbal rehabilitation sessions for the children and their families, hearing aid programming and follow-up sessions, several awareness sessions, and the distribution of a set of educational brochures on hearing problems.