Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Quiet World

The Audiology unit at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) held its official opening yesterday, 17 April 2013. The event was launched by Datuk Prof. Omar bin Osman, USM VC. Among those present were Prof. Mafauzy Mohamed (Campus Director) and Affandi Hussien (Head of Audiology and Speech Pathology Unit) and heads of HUSM departments. Most heads of depts were away in Penang for this morning's Senate meeting (18 April 2013).

Affandi said the event went well but was a quiet affair. There were newsmen but there was insufficient time for a press conference (PC) with the VC as he had to return to Penang (for Senate meeting today). The PC was done anyway (for the record). Affandi said, after this Audiology may want to become a separate unit with its own staff.

The event is still on today, with patients and families coming to visit the booths. Two patients I saw this morning were communicating using sign language. It feels a bit sad watching them ... I didn't take photos of the patients because it is against our work ethics and hospital regulations. There were a few sponsors.

Audiology is a new field in Malaysia and in Kelantan. It is offered as a 4-year course at UKM as well as at USM. The audiologists at HUSM are graduates of UKM or USM. The Audiology subunit operates daily at HUSM. It assesses patients with hearing loss or impairment and makes recommendations for hearing aid. The hearing aid will need to be carefully fitted by trained audiologists. It takes approximately a month or two, to order the hearing aids for the patients. Most patients are very happy when they are fitted with hearing aid, and don't have problems. Some do have problems because they soak their hearing aid when they forget that they are wearing hearing aid - usually when they are drenched or go bathing or swimming. The Audiology subunit also works closely with Surgery dept and they do cochlea implant. So far so good. I've not heard complaints from the implant group.

For children and teenagers with burst eardrums (pierced or damaged), it is possible to do surgery and repair the eardrum. Usually, some mass from the ear nearest the cheek is used. Blood is allowed to soak and drain the transplanted cells. The kid goes back to school, college or university within a week or so. The stitches at the outer ear will disappear. The kid should be able to hear normally again. HUSM does ear surgery to repair burst or damaged eardrums. You can contact Audiology, which will in turn liaise with Surgery. Doctors work round the clock to get ear surgery done on time. Don't keep quiet when a child has a bleeding ear from damaged eardrum. Bring the kid to hospital immediately. We can always try to save the eardrum and hearing somehow.

If you or your loved ones have hearing problems, please contact En Mohd Khary, Audiology, HUSM or any audiology clinic at the nearest hospital. If the ear is bleeding, please go immediately to the Accident & Emergency (A&E). Don't wait till it is too late.

There are 70 million deaf people (orang pekak) worldwide!

Lucky draw ... students
Ear model ... students
Ear implants (sponsor's booth)
Hearing aids (sponsor's booth)
External links
More photos in Mohd Khary Hussain's Facebook
Sound is Life
Deafness (Wikipedia)
World Federation of the Deaf
RC Deaf Missions Malaysia
Persatuan Orang Pekak Malaysia
Discovering Deaf Worlds