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Thu, Nov 22, 2018


It is with great sadness, that we announce the death of Jill Rumney, a great supporter of IHCC.

Jill supported the charity in various ways from helping at fundraising events to organising her own garden book sales. Above all else she will be fondly remembered as creator of the ‘shrapsacs’. These were little bags she made for us, and we distribute to friends and family to collect spare change for the charity. An ingenious way to raise funds for IHCC!

She will be fondly remembered by the team and greatly missed.

Liz Choudhury Project Director, IHCC

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Sat, Feb 24, 2018

Our recent Motown charity fundraiser proved very popular and raised lots of money for IHCC. 

We filled the restaurant with nearly 100 people who enjoyed a four course meal followed by live Motown music and dancing until midnight. There was a quiz thrown in to keep people entertained during the meal and the winners won a bottle of wine. 

Our Project Director gave a brief update on the progress of the project in Uganda. 

One of our trustees kindly offered their holiday home in Spain up for auction for a week’s stay. This alone raised £1,000 which was terrific and we would like to thank both parties for their generosity. 

Several birthdays were announced on the night and we all joined in the celebrations. The evening concluded with the usual round of thanks to everyone who made the evening such a great success!  

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Fri, Feb 23, 2018

On Saturday 2 December a group of 14 men, and Andy age 5, took up the ‘Aquaman challenge’.  This unique charity event saw them undertake one hour of aqua aerobics in the Club Infinity pool at the Holiday Inn Luton, South Markyate.

The men where challenged by the ladies at the Club after they commented on how easy aqua aerobics looked. Hence the challenge line was created. AQUA AEROBICS IS NOT FOR WHIMPS! The men strutted their stuff for an hour in the swimming pool doing strenuous aqua aerobics led by Julie and Linda, the instructors.

The fun packed event was taken in good heart with much merriment knowing that all the sponsorship money raised was going to support a worthy cause.

IHCC Charity is a locally run by volunteers and focuses on the prevention, screening and treatment of hearing impairment in children in Uganda. They have two clinics in Kampala as well as a mobile clinic which takes their much needed service out to the slums around the city. Good hearing outcomes for these underprivileged children is vital for their future prospects. The event has raised over £1,000 which will go towards the roll out of IHCC’s new born baby screening programme in Kampala hospitals.

A big thank you to Karl the manager at Club Infinity and our instructors Linda and Julie. We’d also like to thank Chris from the Holiday Inn who supplied soft drinks and refreshments for everyone. A big shout out to Cafe Jeera, Harpenden for providing delicious samosas for all.

And of course thanks for our intrepid brave men, and Andy, who are now enjoying a well earned rest!

If you would like to donate to IHCC you can do so via www.justgiving.com/IanHutcheonCC/Donate. If you would like to fundraise or volunteer for us please email Elspeth@ihcc.org.uk 

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Mon, Feb 19, 2018

On Saturday we celebrated the opening of our newly extended and refurbished Children's Ear and Hearing Clinic in Kisenyi Health Centre. It was an opportunity to thank our donor Mr Shri Babubhai Ruparelia and all those who supported us along the way.

Our clinic has been opened in loving memory of the late Nina Paresh Ruparelia grand daughter of Mr Ruparelia who sadly died at the age of seven.In her memory this clinic will grow to benefit thousands of children like her in the years ahead and it is the only free comprehensive service available in Uganda. Our services have grown rapidly over the past few months and we now see in excess of two hundred and fifty children a month. 

Two of our children whose lives have greatly improved thanks to our hearing aid programme were also able to join us on the day. 

We would like to thank all our team on the ground here in Kampala who work so hard to make our clinic a centre of excellence.Well done to everyone!

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Thu, Sep 28, 2017

Our corporate sponsors held a recent  sale in aid of  selling to all the offices in the entire building!

It was not only an opportunity to raise money but also to market the charity to a different audience.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Haberman Ilett for their continued support.

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Thu, Sep 28, 2017

As a trustee of IHCC and a retired nurse and midwife I was able to visit Kampala in July and work with the IHCC team. When the plane descended it was raining and dull not what I had expected ,but after getting through customs it was so lovely to see  Paul and Liz at the end of a long line of unfamiliar faces. I then met James our driver who took us to Kisenyi Health Centre which is the main referral centre. I was greeted by two lovely children who held a poster saying ‘Welcome Elspeth’ it was so sweet and made me feel very welcome. One little girl was Esther whose case history I had been following in the UK so I was delighted to meet her and see her progress. She had been fitted with hearing aids three months previously and had come back for a follow up appointment. Esther was beginning to make sounds and could say 'mama and papa' much to the delight of her mother. They were both so happy. This is what Ian Hutcheon Clinic for Children (IHCC) and ‘Let the Children Hear’ is all about, making a difference no matter how big or small. I felt privileged to be able to witness firsthand the work that is happening on the ground in Uganda.

My first impression of the clinic was how small it was and how adaptable our amazing team of Ruth, Jojo and Daniel were. They were working in such cramped conditions and yet doing such wonderful work.

During my time in Kampala, not all of our work was clinical. For the past two years we have been exploring the possibility of extending the clinic behind and taking the space at the back of the postnatal ward. We desperately needed a bigger sound treated room to accommodate expansion of our services and Ruth our administrator needed an office.

The Senior Nursing Officer of the Health Centre was very happy to support our plans as were KCCA who oversee the running of the health centres in Kampala. We met the builders twice, and had two meetings with the town planners. After our second meeting we were given permission to go ahead with the extension. Expansion of our clinic has now been completed and the staff are enjoying working in the new purpose built centre.

We did one outreach clinic organised by ‘Mogas’ a petrol company, which was held in the forecourt of their depot. Along with Primary Ear and Hearing Care there were two other services being offered, a blood donors tent and an eye clinic which tested people's eyesight and supplied free glasses . With Dr Paul, Liz and Jovia one of our nurses, we saw 28 children. The mobile Clinic was used for screening as it has a sound treated section at the rear , and the tent area was used for treatment of ear diseases. The mothers were so happy when the treatment of antibiotics was given free. 

The Minister of Health visited the outreach clinic and was very interested in the work of IHCC. When the clinic was over we had some fun with the local slum children.We supplied them with pink face masks, hooters and bubbles and their smiling faces were a joy.

I have never been anywhere where the traffic was so uncontrolled with Bodas (motor bikes) zooming in and out of cars, buses, and taxis. To travel only a few miles could take an hour, but thanks to the skill of our driver James we always arrived at our destination safely.

A very impressionable day was a visit to a Street Children's Orphanage. We took our mobile clinic and were able to provide hearing screening on the children. The children were so excited to see us when we arrived and were all very eager to be tested. There were over 50 children in the orphanage from age three to sixteen and it is so hard to imagine that they all at one time lived on the streets.

Education and Screening is so important as the earlier deafness is detected and diagnosed the earlier treatment can be implemented. This will have a great impact on a child's life in as much as communication, speech and normal development.

My experiences in Uganda were many. Some were heart wrenching, some very happy ones, and some very sad ones, but where ever we went everyone was so happy to see us and very grateful for the help we were giving.

I would like to thank Paul and Liz our founders of IHCC for the tremendous work they do and for giving me the opportunity to visit Kampala. I would also like to thank all our sponsors and supporters for the help they give in enabling this great unique charity to give some happiness, free treatment, and hearing, to the children of Kampala.

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Wed, Sep 06, 2017

Our clinic at Kisenyi Health Centre has recently been expanded and refurbished to accommodate our growing team and client numbers. We now have an office, a clinic room and a large sound treated room. 

Something we only dream't of 18 months ago!

Up until now Ruth, our administrator had been working within the clinic now she had her own office.

"It felt like moving into a new house. We are able to do a lot more with the bigger space. You can see the confidence in the faces of the patients that they are getting a quality service. I am very proud of the new look and excited to report for work everyday.

A big thank you to all those that supported this work." reports Ruth.

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Sat, Jul 15, 2017

A few weeks ago, we had two medical students, Tara and Mark, from King’s College London volunteer with us in Uganda. They wanted to share their personal experience of Uganda and the work of the IHCC:

We were only in Uganda for 10 days, but we packed as much of the remarkable country as we could into that short time. We saw the beauty and vibrancy of the region, visiting the luscious and verdant source of the Nile, but also witnessed the huge struggles facing the country, including a struggling healthcare system and the incredible poverty faced by many in the slums of Kampala.

Although we got the opportunity to visit the largest hospital in Uganda, Mulago Hospital, most of our time was spent in the IHCC clinic in Kisenyi Health Centre in the heart of Kampala. This clinic offers free hearing tests and ear examinations for children, as well as providing free medicine and hearing aids to children affected by hearing loss.

We were warmly welcomed by the whole IHCC team, who allowed us to get stuck in, talking to parents, playing with the children and even refurbishing their mobile clinic. We saw a multitude of interesting patients in the clinic. Many came in with ear infections that Dr Paul Choudhury or clinical nurse Daniel would inspect and prescribe free medication for. Dr Paul explained to us that chronic ear infections can lead to deafness if untreated, and that many parents can’t afford to pay for antibiotics from the hospital.

Other children came in with parents who had noticed something wrong when their child had difficulty talking, had very limited speech, or were simply not responding to noises. Despite the difficulty of seeing such children struggling with communication, we got to see the impact of the IHCC’s work, as many of these children can be fitted for hearing aids, that are paid for by the IHCC’s sponsors. These hearing aids allow the children to hear sounds for the first time and learn spoken language. They allow the children to interact socially with other children and adults, promoting normal development. We then followed the patients through and saw how the level of a child’s hearing can be determined in detail and a hearing aid specific for that child’s hearing loss can be programmed.

One of the highlights of our visit to Uganda was helping at an outreach to a village in the Mityana district. This small rural health centre was crowded with dozens of people, some of whom had travelled from miles around for the opportunity. That day we saw over 40 children who had various issues from hearing loss to ear infections and other conditions like cerebral palsy. Our audiologist Jojo screened the hearing of all the children and babies we saw. This is one way that IHCC are helping to catch deafness early in children’s lives. The sooner they provide a child with a hearing aid, the greater the chance that the child will successfully learn to speak and be able to develop normally.

The outreach really brought home the importance of the IHCC’s work. Watching the relief on mothers’ faces when we gave their children free antibiotics really highlighted how difficult it is for children to get treatment.

We finished our trip with a greater understanding, not just about the IHCC and childhood deafness, but about ourselves and the lives of people who live a continent away. We would like to thank the IHCC for this opportunity and for the work that they do in Uganda, helping children that no one else is helping.

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Sat, Jul 15, 2017

On Sunday 25th of June Kevin Davey took part in the Cotswold triathlon to raise funds  for IHCC on behalf of our corporate sponsors Haberman Llett.

The triathlon involved a 3.8 km swim, then a 180 km bike ride, then a marathon.

Kevin commented ''Before this I had never run more than half a marathon before so I am specially scared about the running part''

Kevin not only completed the triathlon but he surpassed his fundraising target by a long way.

Thank you Kevin from everyone at IHCC!.

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Fri, Jun 02, 2017

The Haberman Ilett Bike Challenge took place on 18 May in their office in London. It was an incredible effort by all those taking part and a total of £1,807.25 was raised on the day.

The day ended with the Haberman Ilett Office Olympics, a competition that saw the best and brightest at Haberman Ilett go up against each other, this time with a 'School Sports Day' theme.  

For all the memorable moments from the Office Olympics, it was the children in Uganda at IHCC's clinic that stole the show with a heart-warming message of thanks.

By Jude Chapman

Fri, May 05, 2017

IHCC would like to thank Haberman Ilett LLP for its kind donation of £1,450, raised on behalf of the firm by Sophie Baillie, an associate, for running the London Marathon on Sunday 23 April. 

Sophie said of the experience,  “Despite all the weeks of training, nothing can quite prepare you for the day itself.  Nervously standing at the start line in Greenwich there was nowhere to hide and the race began. The sun was shining and the atmosphere was amazing, with huge crowds cheering all the way along the route. Friends and family were out to support and each familiar face I saw helped spur me on.  I am relieved to say I made it to the finish line, not exactly smiling, but having really enjoyed the run.  Now I keep being asked will I do it again - never say never, but probably not anytime soon!”

I am very grateful for the incredible generosity of my colleagues, friends and family in helping to raise funds for the IHCC.  It is a fantastic amount to be able to donate on behalf of everyone at Haberman Ilett and shows how valuable and important people consider the work of the charity to be.”

Haberman Ilett, a London based specialist accounting firm, has chosen to support IHCC this year.  We are delighted the firm has chosen to work with us and are looking forward to organsing a range of fundraising events together. The next event to be held is Haberman Ilett’s IHCC Bike Challenge and School Sports Day later in May.  



By Jude Chapman

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

Christmas Jumper day in the Locum Staffing Offices. Raised £105. Thanks to all involved!

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By Jude Chapman

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

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On Dec. 8th a mulled wine, nibbles and mince pie evening was held at The Coppins.
There was a raffle and a stall of books, cards and crafts to buy.
It was a lovely Christmasy evening as the xmas decorations and tree festooned the room giving a seasonal glow.
It was most people's first mulled wine of the year and started off the Christmas feeling.
We all really enjoyed the evening and raised over £200 for IHCC

By Jude Chapman

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

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Our annual quiz night was held in Markyate Village Hall. We had a very good attendance with over 60 people. As usual Gary our quiz master really stirred up the grey matter with some very challenging and humorous questions.

During the interval a fish supper was heartily enjoyed, followed by fresh fruit and swilled down by liquids from our donation bar. Everyone was very generous buying raffle tickets and a good time was had by all.

We raised over £900 for IHCC!

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By Jude Chapman

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

On 11th Sept. at 7-30 am on a sunny Sunday morning on Clapham Common three committed and zealous cyclists, Chris, Clark and Karl took to the road to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride. At times it was very gruelling especially the Ditchling Beacon which Chris managed to cycle all the way up!

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After 54 miles the ride ended at the sea front in Brighton and all three were still smiling at the finish. They really enjoyed their challenge, so much that they are keen to do it again next year. So any cyclists out there who wish to meet this challenge and raise funds for IHCC look out for more information on our Facebook in July.

A huge well done to Chris Clark and Karl who raised £1,113

brighton

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Sep 28, 2016

may-fair

The village of Markyate  has an annual May Fair with a parade and May Queen. This is the second year IHCC has had a stall there and to took the format of 'Grab a Bag'. Child players pay £1 to use a grabber to picks up a gift bag and retrieve their prize. With all the prizes donated the stall is a really money spinner for IHCC and the child wins a super prises with every turn to!

This year the wind was very strong and whipped across the field, unfortunately the gazebo blew away but undeterred we carried on until rain stopped play. We still managed to raise over £100, let's hope next year's weather will be kinder to us.

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Sep 28, 2016

gills-ihcc-book-salesOne of our fundraising events is selling new books at school and village fetes. When Gill, an ex teacher, heard about the book sales she very kindly offered her front garden to as a prime selling area, as it is on the school run to Caddington primary A lovely stall with table and garden umbrella was set up.

So far, Gill has had two sales and due to popular demand she is planning another sale at the end of September or beginning of October. We at IHCC would like to thank Gill for her support and garden .

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Sep 28, 2016

heather-10k

IHCC  would like to thank Heather Russell who ran her second 10k in June, and kindly raised funds to enable our clinics to continue their work in preventing and treating hearing impairment in Uganda.

Heather ran her first ever 10K run in March with her Brother Chris in Milton Keynes.

A few weeks later the opportunity came for another 10K run, this time it was to be held in London on the 30th June.

Heather ran a second race with her friend Caroline hoping to enjoy the sights of London, however she was so engrossed on running and finishing the race she hardly noticed any famous places.

Heather enjoyed the events and is proud of her achievement.

"l decided to run in aid of IHCC and get friends and family to sponsor me. I had an amazing time completing the course and raised £292.50 for a great charity."

By Jude Chapman

Tue, Jul 19, 2016

fittinghearingaids

Thanks to the huge contribution and help our hearing aid provider in the UK has given us we are now able to programme our recycled and reconditioned hearing aids. Until recently we had relied on our hearing aids being pre-programmed to a range of hearing losses which was not ideal but was better than nothing. We were supplied with the Oticon and Siemens software installed in a new computer and after a few technical glitches which Katie our volunteer managed to sort out we are now up and running!

Over the past three months our hearing aid programme has really taken off and has developed into a fully functional comprehensive programme which offers children and their families a good level of service and of which we can be proud of. Since April this year we have fitted ten children with hearing aids and they are being closely followed up. This may not seem a large number but our ethos is to aim for long term impact rather than short term gain. We only fit hearing aids to children whose parents or guardians have been counselled and are committed to the care and follow up their child will need. By adopting this approach children are more likely to benefit from the service and have better outcomes.

By Jude Chapman

Tue, Jul 19, 2016

Working with KCCA

As part of our prevention strategy we have highlighted the need to address the increasing number of children identified with hearing loss and who give a past history of being treated for Malaria. Sometimes children are treated with intravenous and oral Quinine as it is very effective given in the correct doses and is relatively cheap. However in uncomplicated malaria it is not recommended as the first drug of choice. Quinine is ototoxic along with other known drugs such as the antibiotic Gentamicin both of which are commonly administered to babies and children. Irrational use of such medicines can be detrimental to the hearing of children. According to the World Health Organisation, ototoxicity accounts for 4% of childhood hearing loss worldwide.

We have now started to work with our partners KCCA and local health care workers to monitor the use of these drugs and to advocate for adherence to the local clinical guidelines to prevent one of the major preventable causes of childhood hearing loss.

By Jude Chapman

Tue, Jul 19, 2016

IHCCMOBILECLINIC

The mobile clinic arrived in February all the way from Japan. After spending the last few months sorting out the transfer of the vehicle and the branding we finally have it in our possession.

Our character mascot called TED which stands for ‘treatment and education around deafness’ has his own cartoon story telling of our work which has been incorporated within fundraising activity packs which will be ready for schools in the Autumn.

TED will be launched in the next few months reaching out to many more children in the wider community within Kampala and beyond.

By Jude Chapman

Tue, Jul 19, 2016

Katie thank you

In April we welcomed Katie to Kampala. Katie is an Audiologist from South Africa and is currently working in Ireland. She joined us for five weeks as a volunteer. Her main role was to help further develop our hearing assessment and hearing aid programme. This had been very much in its infancy because up to now we lacked some of the resources to progress any further. Prior to Katie’s visit we discussed the possibility of doing ear impressions for ear moulds. Katie brought the impression materials with her and we have now started to do ear impressions in our clinic. This now means that the only service we out source is the making of ear moulds. However in the future it is hoped we will be able to make our own moulds in a suitably equipped clinic so that we have a comprehensive streamlined hearing aid service.

During her five weeks Katie performed 53 hearing assessments on babies and children. She fitted hearing aids on 6 children and did 4 hearing aid reviews on children previously fitted with hearing aids. Many of the children she fitted with hearing aids were followed up before she left and all are making good progress and their level of hearing has improved

Katie also designed an educational brochure for parents called ‘Your child’s hearing’ to create awareness of the developmental milestones in terms of hearing, speech and language development.

She also did some training with the local Audiologists to make sure that they were happy and confident using the hearing aid programming software.

IHCC would like to thank Katie for all her enthusiasm, knowledge and energy she brought to the programme.

By Jude Chapman

Mon, May 23, 2016

Sitting in the plane on my flight back to South Africa, I'm thinking back over the past 5 weeks and how meaningful they have been. I feel so privileged that I had this opportunity to work with the the team in Kampala: honoured that they trusted me to act on behalf of the charity that they have built from the ground, thankful that I was given the room to learn and explore, that my skills and opinions were valued, that we could work as a team to problem solve and find ways to work around the barriers that are preventing children from accessing our clinic, that we were able to give a range of treatments and individual care to each child that came through our doors (metaphorical doors- sometimes our clinics were outdoors in the community with the chickens and goats), and that we got to share far more giggles and smiles with children than tears!

The magnitude of the need for ear care and hearing services in Uganda is massive- the service is close to none, particularly for those who can't afford private services. There are about 5 Audiologists in Uganda, a country with a population of 37 million. I feel like we have seen everything over the past 5 weeks- microtia, perforations, ear infections, glue ear, discharging ears, mastoiditis, hearing loss from trauma, ototoxic antibiotics, complications during pregnancy, birth and post birth. We have also seen non-verbal children with normal hearing who were presumed deaf by their parents. Ruling out hearing loss and making further referrals for assessment means that these children are one step closer to diagnosis, intervention and reaching their full potential.

Not everything was easy and there were certainly challenges. So many socioeconomic and cultural barriers stood in our way. Some mornings none of the booked patients would arrive- maybe due to lack of transport money, heavy rains, or the parents not understanding the importance of their appointment. Children don't always catch on to how they are meant to do the hearing test despite explaining for (sometimes) the eighth time. Sometimes the babies wouldn't fall asleep and we couldn't do their much needed hearing assessment. Breaking the news to a mother that their child has no hearing and most likely will not be able to use speech as their primary method of communication hasn't been easy. But at the end of the day we do our best and celebrate the small wins, and it means the world to those we are successful with.

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My favourite part of volunteering as an audiologist with IHCC was fitting children with hearing aids and seeing the hearing benefit that they are getting. We've seen kids with mild to severe hearing loss now hearing at a normal level with their hearing aids, and other children with profound loss and presumed "dead" cochlea regions hearing sounds at the level of a moderate hearing loss. I'm so proud of these children- how they concentrated so hard during the hearing teats so we could get the necessary results for their fitting, how they have embraced their hearing aids and worn them diligently despite having never seen a hearing aid before. I love hearing about their goals now that they have improved hearing- to be first in class instead of third, to catch up to the level of their peers and pass the year, to improve their speech production. Suddenly there is hope and ambition!

2016-05-13 14.55.24If you are an audiologist or professional who has skills that would benefit the clinic, I would highly recommend volunteering- you can make such a difference in the lives of these children!

As I close off my blog, I would like to give a big thank you to Paul and Liz, the IHCC team and trustees, and each person who has made themselves available to discuss various cases and protocols as we have been developing the audiology clinic for the past 5 weeks. I appreciate it all and I know our little patients and their families are beyond grateful!

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By Jude Chapman

Sun, May 08, 2016

A few weeks back we upgraded one of our children from an analogue to a digital hearing aid. No one knows how long she has had hearing loss for, it could have been from the malaria treatment her mother was on while pregnant or her own treatment when she was a few years old. Jane's left ear is a "dead" ear- even amplifying with a hearing aid would not bring her any benefit. Her "good" ear has a moderate to severe sloping hearing loss, which has significantly impacted on her speech development. High pitched sounds such as "sh", "s", "f" and "t" were absent from her speech as she simply could not hear them. After the hearing aid fitting we advised her mother on some simple speech therapy techniques she can practise at home daily. This week we brought Jane back to our clinic to see how she is getting on with her new digital aid, and wow, we were impressed!

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Her mother has noticed a big improvement with her new hearing aid and there has been progress with her speech already. Jane was able to repeat so many of the sounds that couldn't be said a few weeks back- telling us about sugar, shoes, fish and tea. So of course she was rewarded with a "smiley star sticker" (plenty of opportunity to practise "s" and "t" sounds there haha!). The only complaint she wanted to bring to our attention is that she is 3rd place in class, not 1st! We are so proud of the hard work her and her mother have been putting into her speech and so excited about her progress so far!

[caption id="attachment_514" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]2016-05-06 14.25.03 Jane and her brother[/caption]

By Jude Chapman

Thu, Apr 28, 2016

For today's blog I want to share the story of one of my patients. Sarafina and her mother came along to out "World Hearing Day" outreach. Sarafina is now 13 years old and had lost her hearing 6 years ago while fleeing the war in the Congo. They travelled for 2 weeks through forests, at times they had to run from gun fire and explosions at a close range. Lack of knowledge about hearing loss as well as lack of available services meant that she has not seen anyone about her hearing. Her hearing test revealed a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss- this means that there is permanent damage to the hearing pathways. Fortunately hearing aids would offer her some improvement.

The news was tough on her mother emotionally as she had presumed that we would be offering medical treatment to immediately restore the hearing that has been lost. After some counselling (involving three different language translations), Sarafina and her mother decided that they would like to try the hearing aids, impressions were taken and sent off for moulds to be made. A week later we were able to fit her with two new hearing aids.

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So far we are pleased with how she is responding with her hearing aids.  Sarafinas progress will be followed up over the next few weeks as she adjusts to her hearing aids. We hope that her hearing aids will help her to connect with the people around her, and make it easier for her to hear in school, setting her up for a brighter future!

2016-04-25 10.09.22 The smile says it all

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By Jude Chapman

Tue, Apr 26, 2016

A quick introduction: Im Katie, a South African audiologist. I have been locuming in Ireland and the U.K. for the past year and a half, which has given me the flexibility to come out to Uganda for these 5 weeks to volunteer. A few years ago I saw the right tweet at the right time which got me in contact with IHCC, and here I am! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you through this blog!

It has already been 2 incredible weeks in Uganda with IHCC.  We have been making our way through the waiting list of children that have accumulated over the last few months- ABR's, hearing tests, hearing aid follow ups, new ear mounds and we recently started with the hearing aid fittings. We have some very happy kids with their "new ears"! The audiology clinic has really come along, we are now able to take our own ear mould impressions (instead of sending the children off to the private clinic), which has reduced the time between hearing assessments and hearing aid fittings. We now also have our own laptop and software to program the hearing aids, which means that the hearing aids can be programmed according to each childs individual hearing test, and adjustments can be made in the session.

image We love hearing

image Sitting patiently while an impression is being taken to make an ear mould for his new hearing aid

One of our children delighted with her new hearing aid One of our children delighted with her new hearing aid

We held our (delayed) "World Hearing Day" celebration (the actual day is 3rd March each year, but none of us were in Uganda yet!). Which has also brought quite a number of new children in to our clinic. We are thankful for the media coverage; IHCC was featured on television news, in newspapers as well as on the radio. We have already seen a few new children whose parents heard about IHCC from the radio, who have been able to receive the necessary treatment from our clinic. We look forward to 2 more outreaches planned for the next 3 weeks!

image Our ear clinic station at World Hearing Day

Paul and Liz with the "paparazzi" Paul and Liz with the "paparazzi"

By Jude Chapman

Mon, Apr 18, 2016

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We welcome a very special person NEW to the IHCC team in Kampala. Katie Kroone is an Audiologist who is volunteering with us for the next 5 weeks. Follow the blog below as Katie keeps a diary of her experiences making a difference to the hearing outcomes of youngsters we treat in Uganda.

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Mobile Clinic

Our medical team in Kampala have spent the last three months working to secure the purchase of a good second-hand ambulance that meets both the charity’s requirements and is within the budget allocated to us in the rotary grant.

On recommendation it was decided to go with the purchase of an ambulance from Japan.

Finally, in December, we found one that suited our specifications. An order has been placed and the vehicle is on it’s way from Japan and due to arrive in Kampala towards the end of February.

It is hoped that we will be ready to launch the services of the mobile clinic sometime in March.

We may well be able to coincide the launch with our planned community outreach to commemorate this year’s WHO World Hearing Day in March, the theme of which this year, is CHILDREN!

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Feb 10, 2016

sound treated room

A major milestone after months of struggling to perform hearing assessments in the most challenging of noisy clinic environments.

On a recent trip to Kampala, Uganda, our UK medical team paid their first visit to the new ear clinic at Kisenyi Health Centre. This health centre offers a wide range of health services resulting in it  attracting a large client base from all over Kampala. It is also well situated in central Kampala making it easily accessible.

The ear clinic opened at the end of May last year and the numbers of children attending has been steadily increasing. The clinic was formed by partitioning off one end of a corridor at the back of the maternity unit to give us a good sized clinic room.  The available space was considered large enough to allow us to plan for the construction of a small sound treated room to be built in one corner of the clinic room. In less than two weeks the room was constructed and sound treated using locally sourced materials.

The room gives us an ambient sound level of between 35-40dB which is fit for purpose given the challenging noisy environments we previously worked in. For months we had been struggling to carry out hearing assessments in noisy clinic rooms and on many occasions we had to abandon testing and bring the child back another day to try and repeat the test again. This proved costly and inconvenienced all parties concerned. Following completion of the room we were able to clear the waiting list of children who had been waiting for hearing assessments.

Our Ugandan team are delighted with this new facility at Kisenyi Health Centre which will benefit them and many children who attend for hearing assessment. The ear clinic at Kisenyi Health Centre is to become our flagship assessment centre for all babies and children requiring hearing screening and audiological assessment.

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Josephine visit

In November Josephine, our Kampala based audiologist, came to the UK for 2 weeks to attend a training course and to work alongside audiologists and screeners to improve her  knowledge and practical skills in paediatric audiology.

She attended a Paediatric Audiology refresher course in Middlesborough and then spent time working  with our audiology advisor Pam Layton in her clinics. She was able to see children being tested and also to attend the multidisciplinary meeting which was very helpful in deciding the management of children. She also spent a day with a newborn hearing screener to learn the practical aspects of screening new-born babies, giving information to parents and the importance of good record keeping. Josephine was also invited to attend Luton North Rotary club who have supported our grant application for a mobile clinic. She was able to give a progress report on our activities in Kampala and her work with IHCC.

Josephine sums up her training and work experience and how she plans to use it for the benefit of the underprivileged children we work with.

‘Most of what I have learnt is what I knew already but have not had the opportunity to practice. Most important was that I learnt how to deal with ‘difficult to test’ children.

I plan to use the information I learnt to assess and manage the underprivileged children who would otherwise need to pay a lot of money for hearing tests and hearing aids.

My appreciation goes to IHCC for giving me the opportunity to attend this training and visiting other centres to see how others are doing things, it has made me a better audiologist.

I promise to use the information I acquired to help with the work IHCC is doing in Kampala and to teach fellow colleagues and students so that we can improve audiology services in Uganda’

By Jude Chapman

Mon, Jan 11, 2016

Locumcalenders An innovative idea to raise funds for IHCC by Locum Staffing. 12,000 calendars were posted and for every feedback form returned we will receive 25 pence. We would like to thank them for their continue support for IHCC. Every penny raised is really making a difference to hearing health care services for children in Uganda.

By Jude Chapman

Mon, Jan 11, 2016

QuizNight

Saturday 14 November 2015 saw a gathering of local intelligentsia at the IHCC quiz night.

Markyate Village Hall was packed for this battle of wits , overseen by legendary quizmaster Gary Culleton who, with the help of his two glamorous assistants, Heather and Joanne, tested the quiz team with round after round of challenging questions.

All enjoyed a fish and chip supper supplied by Markyate Fish and Chip shop, washed down with wine and beer from our donation bar.

The winners were rewarded with a bottle of wine.

Our special thanks go out to Gary and his team, Elspeth, Heather and Jane for organizing this popular event.

It was a very successful evening, one which we hope to repeat in 2016.

By Jude Chapman

Mon, Jan 11, 2016

WreathMaking

A mini wreath making evening hosted by Elspeth and Heather in their home in December. Mulled wine and mince pies ensured the evening was full of artistic endeavours and chat.

The results were very professional looking Christmas wreaths which were adorning many doors in Hertfordshire.

Thank you to all the organisers for putting on such a great event.

By Jude Chapman

Mon, Jan 11, 2016

Oneills

The lovely staff at O’Neill’s in St Albans have been busy fundraising for IHCC.

The manager, Martin, along with his staff collected £400 for IHCC, displaying our posters in their Charity desk over a two-week period in November.

We would like to say a very big thank you to them for their support. This generosity will be invaluable to support our clinics in Kampala.

By Jude Chapman

Sat, Aug 15, 2015

SummerGardenparty2

The weather was kind on Saturday 25 July at the IHCC Summer Party held in the garden of the Kinsbourne Green Village Hall in Harpenden. Guests tucked in to a succulent BBQ with a large variety of salads and accompaniments all washed down with drinks from our donation bar. The event was well attended by people from near and far -  included a delegation from the Ugandan High Commission in London.

Dr Paul Choudhury gave an informal presentation on his recent visit to Uganda which highlighted the success of the outreach clinics and the expansion to include the new ear clinic at Kisenyi Health Centre. He gave particular thanks to Pam and John Layton on joining the Uganda team for two weeks as volunteers. Pam, a UK audiologist, was able to carry out audiological assessment on many children and to provide further training for local audiologists. She was amazed at the high percentage of referrals requiring assessment and the high numbers being diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss.

Paul also thanked Jude Chapman for her creative marketing ideas. In particular, the Frisbee’s which were taken to Uganda and distributed to children in the outreach clinics to raise awareness and to provide a point of contact for parents to seek help for their children.

The rain held off and, although a little chilly, the evening raised £700 for the cause. Thank you to all who attended.

By Jude Chapman

Wed, Jun 24, 2015

news blog pic - ambulance

We are expanding our services to two new health centres and we visited the first one today to introduce our programme and to find some health care workers keen to be trained. We visit the second health centre tomorrow. This is a significant milestone in our development.

The first centre for expansion is Kisenyi Health Centre where we will be starting a children’s ear clinic once a week and increasing as the numbers of children grow. We will also be piloting a newborn hearing screening programme later this year.
Today we began training the health care workers in Primary Ear and Hearing care in preparation for expansion of our services

Our second centre is Komamboga Health Centre and we plan to begin training here early in 2016.

It is hoped that we will be able to see and treat between 1500-2000 more children a year and run our health education programme with pregnant women, mothers and health care workers in both centres.

By Jude Chapman

Thu, Jun 18, 2015

golf tournament2

The sun shone on our golfers yesterday for what was an excellent turn out at the Annual Charity Golf Day in Redbourn.

A group of 37 golfers tee’d off at Redbourn Golf Club on a lovely sunny day in June.

Thanks to everyone who helped and supported us on the day and congratulations to all our winners. James Freeman the individual winner, William's Wonkers the winning team, Elspeth’s team the runners up and Henry Fitch the longest drive. We were also privileged to have representation from the Ugandan High Commission in London who are very supportive of our work in Uganda.

By Jude Chapman

Thu, Jun 04, 2015

news blog pic - ambulance

The Global Grant presented by the Rotary Clubs of Luton North, Dunstable UK and Sunrise Kampala Uganda has been approved by the Rotary Foundation - US$ 41,918, (UGX129,929,850) 

The Grant will allow the Charity to expand its work improving the quality of Children’s hearing health care services in the slum areas of Kampala, Uganda. In particular it will provide us with funds to set up a sound treated clinic with adequate equipment for screening and audiological assessment of children.

Training is an important part of the Grant and Audiologists from the UK have visited Kampala to train local healthcare workers to work in the Mobile Clinic. Others have been trained in Primary Ear Health Care, and now trained they are training others so the programme is on going. Also, IHCC are running sessions to educate families on the importance of prevention, early recognition and early management of hearing loss.

At present IHCC has a Clinic at the Kisugu Health Centre, Namuwongo Kampala, and it's the first Clinic in Uganda to offer free specialised primary ear care services for children. They managed to reach 650 children in the first twelve months. However, with the addition of the Mobile Clinic, more equipment, and increased numbers of trained health care workers, IHCC expect to manage well over 2,000 children with ear problems each year; may be more once the Mobile Clinic is advertised. It's a five year programme and benefits to the children include improved ear and general health, prevention of deafness, inclusion in the education system and increased employment opportunities.

By Jude Chapman

Mon, May 18, 2015

news blog pic - frisbees

Our fabulous new Frisbees, distributed by Paul and Liz to local youngsters who visit the community outreach clinics, have been a massive hit. As well as being great fun they carry a serious message into the community. They also carry a contact number.

Designed by IHCC volunteer, Jude Chapman, who is a creative director and marketing specialist, the Frisbees show graphic illustration of the three main areas which IHCC focus on. Prevention of pre-natal deafness which occurs in the womb, hearing screening at birth to ensure early diagnosis and management of hearing loss and treatment of ear infections, a major cause of hearing loss in children.

The majority of children had never set eyes on a Frisbee before and had to be shown how to play with them.

Children fought to get their hands on one and mothers thanked us for providing them with new plates!

By Jude Chapman

Fri, May 15, 2015

fundrasing

We are very fortunate to have the support of many people, of all ages, friends, colleagues, our children, friends of our children, our local Rotary Club, local Chemists, local schools,  the medical profession,  people who are passionate about the work we are doing  who donate funds and their time to enable us to progress with our work in Uganda.

We have had a cross selection of community fundraising events enjoyed by all.

Pamper evenings for our ladies, quiz nights which are very popular, and flower arranging evenings are a small example of what we have done.

The Fundraising team at IHCC are always looking for new and interesting ways of engaging people to donate and spread the word of all the good work taking place in Uganda.