Otitis media program set for hearing on May 25th
A new Rural Health Education Foundation television program airing on Tuesday May 25th discusses the barriers to achieving better outcomes for children with otitis media, and proposes strategies to overcome them.
A Sticky Issue: Otitis Media and Indigenous Children also covers diagnosis, management, and treatment of the different stages/forms of otitis media (middle ear infection).
The hour-long program has a particular focus on Indigenous children, and the complications that arise in rural and remote areas.
A major health concern for Indigenous children
“Otitis media and subsequent hearing problems are a major health and development concern for many Indigenous children, with rates of tympanic membrane perforation in some remote Aboriginal communities exceeding 60%,” says Rural Health Education Foundation CEO Don Perlgut. “This chronic infection not only impairs hearing and speech development in the short term, but can also affect a child’s education, social relationships, and job opportunities in adulthood.”
“This new program will enable health professionals to recognise the burden of otitis media in the Indigenous community and to initiate prevention strategies,” Mr Perlgut says. “It will also help them to identify risk factors and the diagnostic criteria for the various forms of otitis media, and to adopt culturally appropriate treatment and management strategies.”
Presented by an expert panel
The program format is a panel discussion chaired by Dr Norman Swan, Presenter of the Health Report on ABC Radio National.
The panel of health practitioners features Mr Joe Daby, Aboriginal Health Worker, Ear Health Specialist, Maternal Child and Youth Health, NT; Dr Ray Jones, a General Practitioner at the Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Centre in Grafton, NSW; Dr David McIntosh, Ear Nose Throat Surgeon, ENT Specialists, QLD; and Dr Andrew White, a Remote Area Paediatrician working in Alice Springs.
A Sticky Issue: Otitis Media and Indigenous Children will be broadcast across the Rural Health Education Foundation’s satellite television network on Tuesday May 25th at 8.00pm (AEST), with repeats at 8.00pm Perth time that same evening (three hours later) and 12.30pm on Friday May 28th.
Also available on DVD and via web-streaming
DVD copies of this program will be available after the broadcast via our website. The program will also be available free on the Internet for viewing via web-streamed video or listening via an audio podcast.
About otitis media and Indigenous children
Studies have shown that the onset of otitis media (middle ear infection) in Aboriginal communities frequently occurs within three months of birth and progresses to chronic suppurative otitis media in 60% of cases, with up to 50% of school children possibly requiring hearing aids.
The condition frequently continues throughout early childhood, causing ongoing hearing impairment throughout vital schooling years, with some Indigenous children enduring chronic otitis media and its associated discomfort for the majority of their childhood. This cycle of chronic infection is compounded by overcrowding, poor living conditions, poor hygiene standards and limited access to appropriate healthcare services.
For more information about the A Sticky Issue: Otitis Media and Indigenous Children program – including presenter details and associated educational resources – go to the online program summary, or contact the Foundation.