1st COMMUNITY EAR CARE CONFERENCE ...

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(L to R) Mr Ashish (audiologist), Miss Sandra Eisner (audiologist and speech therapist)
Dr Mike Smith, Dr Nirmal Thapa (ENT surgeon)

The 1st Community Ear Care in Nepal Conference was held over two days at a hotel in Kathmandu in November 2016.

The conference was sponsored by the Government of Nepal and Impact Nepal.

It was well attended and a great encouragement. In recent years there has been a great deal of activity to push the plight of the deaf and those with ear disease into the awareness of the public and the health services in Nepal. Although they are still not a high priority, despite the vast numbers involved, it was excellent that top politicians and civil servants took the time to attend and participate. It was marvellous to hear of the many projects springing up around Nepal. Particularly the recognition of the need for a network of dedicated Ear Care Workers and additional training in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of ear disorders for paramedical workers. EAN hope to be involved in helping to develop this based around the INF Ear Centre in Pokhara.

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The chief guest speaker was Mr Gagan Thapa, the Minister of Health for Nepal. Professor Rakesh Prasad Srivastava, was the hugely experienced principle medical speaker.

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Dr Mike Smith was an invited speaker. He delivered a talk on the subject of INF ear camps over the past 25 years. Sandra Eisner has been undertaking a research study under Kathmandu University, to analyse the data for these camps and Mike was able to present some of this. Including the numbers of patients with different types of ear disease and varying degrees of hearing loss that have attended the camps. The data include over 40,000 patients. Mike was delighted to be able to visit the Minister of health and the secretary for health in their offices shortly after the conference.

We are now planning for the Society of Otolaryngologists (SOL) of Nepal biannual conference. This will be in Pokhara in February 2017. There will be an additional satellite day of conference, held at the Ear hospital, with demonstrations of live surgery.