This interview is with Linnett Sanchez, Associate Professor of Audiology through Flinders University. Her research work focuses on the ear health of children living in Anangu communities.
Linnett has been on the Paper Tracker Radio Show a few times before and has explained how ears can become unhealthy, and how ear disease – particularly middle ear disease, called ‘otitis media’ – can make it very difficult for children to hear things at school and at home. When children can’t hear, it makes it difficult for them to learn and to understand what’s going on around them.
For more than nine years, Linnett and a team of audiologists joined by ear, nose and throat specialists, have visited Anangu communities on the APY Lands and at Yalata and Oak Valley. They have been working with Anangu children to improve their ear health and hearing.
Linnett talks about the research that is being done and she highlights some of the challenges that children and communities face. She suggests things that schools, clinics, parents and children can do to avoid hearing problems and to seek treatment as quickly as possible.
She lets us know about positive developments in some communities in the West of South Australia, where good progress is being made as a result of adopting a proactive approach to preventing and treating hearing problems.