Center for Hearing Health of the Foundation
Global Giving report – December was followed by an early and solid start in 2014 for Fundación Oír es Vivir (to Hear is to Live)
A few more “end-of-year” events and activities took place since the Foundation’s last report in November 2013. Indeed the end of the year represented a nice opportunity for the Foundation to thank all of those who have been supporting its cause. Including of which the precious Global Giving donors! The Foundation’s Acknowledgement Ceremony, which took place on 20th of November 2013 at the Crowne Plaza in Panama, allowed the whole team to thank its recurring and new supporters, and show gratefulness, in person. It also permitted to present the activities and plans for 2014.
Throughout December, the Foundation continued its early detection activities. This is one of the Foundation’s primary focuses and it helps to identify hearing losses in children in time to avoid them from hindering the development of language, their inclusion into the schooling system and to allow them to live a normal life with equal opportunities. This took place in public and private schools throughout Panama. Furthermore, as part of Christmas celebrations, the Foundation attended 30 children from 1 to 4 years of age at the Health Center of the zone of Panama called 24 de Diciembre. This is a more vulnerable area and these children were part of households with very few economic resources. Hearing exams were performed to all of them, after which they received donated Christmas presents.
As highlighted in the last report, 2013 ended on a high note. In 2013, the Foundation has reached more than 1,300 children overall with hearing exams for hearing losses identification in Panama city, the vulnerable area of Mañanitas and the indigenous community of Union Embera.
Today, early 2014, the Foundation is happy to announce that its Integrated Center for Hearing Health is fully functional and that children and adults can make appointments to be examined, to receive hearing solutions and orientation whenever convenient to them. The Foundation now continuously provides hearing care to the Panamanians in need at this new center located in the City of Knowledge in Clayton area of Panama city.
While the team maintains its mobile capacity to go to the field to do hearing screening, the center now provides the complete response process to hearing problems. It offers audiometry, impedanceometry, oto-acoustic emissions and auditory evoked potential exams, with a sound-proof room to allow improved precision. It also counts the facility to offer speech therapy to children and adults. It is of great benefit for the Panamanians to have all these services under one same roof to permit the detection, diagnosis, and the treatment of a hearing condition without the delays caused in having to book appointments in different places. The Center is also a place where orientation is available to all, and where families can exchange information and experiences on the challenge of having a relative with hearing problems.
In January, the Foundation has also strengthened its Executive Board by welcoming a new member, Analida Pitty Ceballos, a renowned Speech Therapist in Panama, as Vice-President. Her experience and medical skills complete those of the other members of the Board (Otolaryngologists, Audiologists, Marketing and event strategists, and mothers of deaf children or children affected by hearing losses) to form a very complete support structure to the team in place at the Foundation.
Thus the tools are really all in place to allow for the provision of integrated and comprehensive hearing care to the vulnerable Panamanians who need it throughout 2014.
In 2014, the Foundation will strive to gives access to hearing health to an increased number of persons in need, and further expand its activities to areas that are more remotely located and where there is a lack of basic healthcare. While the economy is booming in Panama, indigenous and more remote communities remain the invisible face of poverty in the country. These planned activities will hopefully be facilitated by the securing of more support from international and local donors and partners.
The Foundation team takes this opportunity to thank again its Global Giving donors! Please remember to “like” us on facebook, at Fundacion Oir es Vivir, and share it with friends, to help us reach the 1,000 followers (we’re getting closer as we currently are at 933). We’re also on Twitter @OIRESVIVIRPTY.
Daniel, 6 years old, identified with hearing loss
Training of the medical team over new equipment
Christmas screenings for vulnerable children
Victor, 3 months, examined for early detection
Screenings in schools for sensibilization
President Giovanna and new Vice President Analida
and a Happy New Year to all!! :)