PHO, UST, Starkey Foundation launch training on ear and hearing treatment

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Provincial Government of Pampanga through its Provincial Health Office (PHO) in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Global Starkey Foundation launched its Ear and Hearing Health Technology Courses for thirty-three health workers. The trainees came from the different district and provincial hospitals in Pampanga.

The three-month-training aims to provide ear and hearing screening, diagnostic evaluation, and aural rehabilitation services for non-complex cases, among others.

The UST’s partnership with the provincial government is the first partnership of the university to a local government unit.

According to Dr. Marcelo Y. Jaochico, provincial health officer, one way to improve the health services of the province is to have a reliable partner.

He added that hearing problem is the most neglected impairment among patients.

“The reason is rural health units are not focused on hearing problems, especially on the elders. They are more focused on infectious diseases, heart diseases, lifestyle diseases, and so on. In our province, if we can improve the screening services on health centers, we can find patients with hearing problems,” he said.

Jaochico also told the trainees to take advantage of the opportunity given to them especially that it is costly to study for such course in the University.

Board Member Anthony Joseph Torres, committee chair on health, is elated to launch this one of a kind partnership. He said that this is a welcome improvement, especially that Pampanga is seen as the model province for health in the whole country.

Norberto Martinez, MD who is the chairman for UST Department of Otorhinolaryngology said that there is a need to empower the community and it will be finally addressed by training the health workers for bigger coverage of the aural health distribution.

“We needed to empower the community and we need health workers to empower them because it is them who are in the grassroots; it is them who have access in the rural areas to be able to track down patients who may have problems with hearing,” he added.

The Provincial Government identified the participants and coordinated their registration to the school; provide the training venue for the course and the feedback on the participant’s performance. At least 30 permanent employees of the provincial government were enlisted in the course.

The Provincial Government will also provide the payment for the course amounting to P513, 000 for the 30 participants. The amount will be given in two tranches – 50% of the course fees upon registration and another 50% upon completion.

The aural training is said to last until March of this year with subjects to identify newborn hearing screening and aural tests for senior citizen patients. –PHILIP OCAMPO/Pampanga PIO