On average Aboriginal children suffer from middle ear disease for 32 months of the first five years of life, compared to 3 months for non-Indigenous children. Middle ear disease is treatable and preventable, yet chronic ear disease in Aboriginal children in WA is a pandemic. This affects children’s ability to develop language, to achieve in school and to flourish – if you can’t hear, you can’t learn!
Earbus Foundation of WA delivers mobile ear health clinics to regional and remote Aboriginal communities across Western Australia. Our customised fleet of Earbuses travel with a full-service clinical team to bring healthcare on the road to families. The Earbus Nurse, Audiologist, GP and ENT screen, triage and treat children, and with regular visits throughout the school term, can ensure continuous care so that no child is lost from the medical pathway.
“The idea of the Earbus outreach program is to take healthcare to Aboriginal people instead of expecting them to negotiate their way through whitefella mainstream services,” says Earbus CEO, Paul Higginbotham. “This service model was designed by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people and it works to keep children in the treatment pathway from first contact to wellness.”
Earbus needs to raise funds to purchase and fit-out a purpose-built clinical bus for our Pilbara program. Earbus travels with purpose-built buses in the Goldfields, Kimberley, South West and Perth Metro regions and these have transformed our ability to deliver efficient and timely clinical services. Our beautiful buses are designed to be culturally safe and fun environments for children, with local student artwork adorning each bus. We also need equipment such as otoscopes, tympanometers and video otoscopes so we can reach more kids in need. Plus, Earbus prescribes and administers medications on the road as part of our full service approach, which is 100% subsidised for families.
Earbus is a small charity and we rely on generous supporters to allow us to expand and grow our programs. With your support, we can purchase buses for our Pilbara program as well as vital equipment and meds to allow us to enhance our program delivery and reach even more Aboriginal and at-risk children with middle ear disease. Because we believe if you hear today, you shine tomorrow.