Minister Launches First Mobile Ear Health Clinic For Australia’s Remote Areas

Minister Launches First Mobile Ear Health Clinic For Australia’s Remote Areas

Western Australia Minister for Health Kim Hames

Australian First For Child Health In Pilbara

Victor P Taffa

  • Infant diagnostic hearing tests available locally for the first time
  • Care closer to home for thousands of Aboriginal children

It weighs 5.79 tonnes, is four-wheel drive, can travel off-road into some of the most remote parts of Western Australia, and carries out diagnostic tests for children at risk of hearing damage and diseases.

Sponsored by Chevron and operated as part of a partnership with Telethon Speech and Hearing, the Mobile Advanced Paediatric Audiology Remote (MAPAR) vehicle was officially launched today by Health Minister Kim Hames.

 

 

 

“MAPAR is Australia’s first mobile ear health clinic and will soon make its way north to assess children in the Pilbara.” Dr. Hames said.

“Because it was designed to operate through the challenging terrain of our State’s outback, MAPAR will be used in remote areas, bringing care closer to home for many Western Australian children who may otherwise miss out.”

“I am delighted to be involved in the launch of this vehicle and congratulate Chevron on its commitment to the health of the community.”

The MAPAR initiative includes a hearing booth and is specially modified to allow clinicians to provide diagnostic testing for paediatric hearing tests in various locations across the State.

The Minister said WA Country Health Service is working with Telethon Speech and Hearing to develop a best practice model of ear health care for the Pilbara.

“The focus is on community education and services to help prevent middle ear disease and improve school readiness for young children.”

“Middle ear disease can seriously affect a child’s ability to hear, speak, eat, socialise and learn, preventing them from reaching their full potential.” Dr. Hames said.

The MAPAR initiative is in addition to the State Government’s $6 Million Improving Ear, Eye and Oral Health of Children Living in Rural and Remote Aboriginal Communities program already under way.

Fact File

  • The $6 Million Improving Ear, Eye and Oral Health of Children Living in Rural and Remote Aboriginal Communities initiative employs and trains Aboriginal health workers to provide basic assessment, care and prevention to children in remote communities of the Pilbara, Goldfields, Kimberley and Mid-West
  • MAPAR is funded by Chevron Australia and staffed by clinicians from Telethon Speech and Hearing, who deliver audiology services in the Pilbara on behalf of State Government