The theme for today was “rolling with the punches” and being flexible. The outreach team at Zomba, the Army barracks in Blantyre, experienced a few technical difficulties. There were troubles with audiological equipment running out of batteries, and a few pieces of equipment were just not operating to our standards. Additionally, there were some environmental factors like the power going out that the team had to work around. At lunch, the team collectively problem solved and moved some stations around to better occupy everyone’s time and make the flow of patients easier on everyone. Notes were made on what to change for tomorrow at our second day of outreach at Zomba. But overall, the team enjoyed providing services for the soldiers and their family/community members.
Back at the QECH clinic, the audiology students conducted a few secondary hearing tests on clients who were seen the day before, and also started the process of fitting new hearing aids on a client who had only used their previous hearing aids for 4 months before they broke. This patient was actually previous seen by Dr. McBride in 2013 during a Hearing for Humanity trip.
On the speech side of the QECH clinic, students provided aural rehabilitation services to hearing aid users and a cochlear implant user. One of the highlights of the day for them was teaching a child some simple sign language that they could use to communicate with their mother or family members. The ASU students were also able to learn some Chichewa sign language for words like nsima (a common food in Malawi), water, apple, and banana.