A problem that should not exist

Needed help for Indigenous children is essential but it is a disgrace that it is still required

The Mala’la Health Service Aboriginal Corporation, which provides primary services for the Maningrida community in the Northern Territory, has signed-on with the Menzies School of Health Research’s $7.9m Hearing for Learning Initiative.

The project is the work of the school, the Balnaves Foundation and federal and territory government to train community workers in child health.

“Up to nine in every ten Aboriginal children, under the age of three, in the Northern Territory, suffer from otitis media, or ‘glue ear’, in one or both ears, which can lead to hearing impairment and/or loss.  Researchers have long observed the negative impacts of this disease on children’s education, childhood development and social outcomes, due to late detection,” Menzies explains.

No, this is not news from 30 years ago – when hearing loss among children in remote Indigenous communities was recognised as a major health and education problem.

More power to all now involved but the fact that hearing loss among children in Indigenous communities continues is a disgrace. How can kids learn if they cannot hear?


to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education