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Glencore grant to improve hearing and vision screening services

Glencore’s Queensland Metals is proud to support the North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS) who play a key role in protecting our community’s wellbeing through their healthcare services.

With Glencore funding, the NWHHS has purchased equipment to assist in identifying hearing and sight problems in newborns and young children.

The Maternal Youth Health department has purchased a Spot Vision Screener, which assists with vision screening in children as young as one year old.

The main benefit of this new equipment is that it requires children to look into the screen for only 30 seconds before it can identify whether the child’s eyesight and vision require more definitive care.

The new Spot Vision Screener in action.

Previously, children were required to read and verbally communicate letters and shapes that they saw on the screen, which could be difficult for children who were shy or had development issues as a result of missed milestones or delays.

Queensland Metals General Manager for Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Maryann Wipaki, says having this technology in the North West is critical to increasing the liveability of our city and encouraging young families to make the move to the region.

“NWHHS play a crucial role in the health and wellbeing of our local community and we’re proud to be able to contribute to that by providing funding for important equipment,” says Maryann.

Children look into the screen for only 30 seconds before the equipment can identify whether the child’s eyesight requires more definitive care for their vision.

Additionally, with further Glencore funding, the NWHHS’s Midwifery Group has purchased a Newborn Healthy Hearing Device, which will be used for mobile hearing screening at the clinic and in family homes of two-week-old newborns, rather than doing the screening at the hospital.

With this equipment, the NWHHS will be able to immediately identify any hearing issues in newborn babies. If any are detected, the NWHHS will refer the newborn to the Townsville University Hospital for further diagnosis to reduce the potential for long-term hearing loss.

NWHHS Acting Chief Executive Dr Karen Murphy says the equipment will significantly benefit the health service and the families in the local community.

New Mum Robyn Hardy with registered midwives Christie Luke and Madeleine Beavis.
Putting the new hearing device to the test.

“With this technology we are able to simplify the process for testing in our newborns and children in the region and ensure they receive the most appropriate care when it comes to their vision and hearing,” says Dr Murphy.

“We would like to express our immense gratitude and appreciation to Glencore for their donation and look forward to delivering this technology to the region.”