MONDAY NOVEMBER 12TH

Patients Arrive!

We arrived in Parintins late Sunday night. Parintins is on the Amazon River on the island of Tupinambarana. Despite the geographic remoteness of the area, Parintins is a region of over 100,000 people.  Its claim to fame is an annual folklore event: ‘Festival do Boi-Bumba’. Second only to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the festival has nearly a 100 year history. All residents of the town take “sides” (the Blue Caprichoso team or the Red Garantido Team) and the ‘competition’ takes place over a three day festival of dance, music and fun…..but more on that later.

Viva o Som clinic is an outreach project funded by Telex/Oticon Brazil with a mission to provide audiologic services to the residents of Parintins and outlying areas.  Libbey, Livia (the audiologist from Sao Paolo) and I worked alongside Pedro – the permanent, full time audiologist here. This week is “Hearing Care Week” and they are reaching out to the community to educate about hearing loss so the clinic has a very busy schedule. We saw patients for hearing evaluations, hearing aid fitting or hearing aid trouble-shooting.  This clinic has made the commitment to provide hearing aids to anyone that needs them.  Because people may come from very far away, appointments are not confined to a set time; rather patients are seen as long as needed to obtain the most complete results and to get the most done. It is a good thing that I don’t wear a watch…… All patients are required to be seen by a physician so any person with a newly identified hearing loss must see a physician before getting hearing aids.  And as I mentioned before, since people travel such great distances for every appointment, we want to make the most of each. So if they need a new earmold that day, we make it then and there……

Earmold2

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