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Date posted: 21 October 2011
A state-wide health program to improve hearing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is finally making its way to Palm Island. The Deadly ears program, which began in Queensland about four years ago, will allow much needed ear, nose and throat surgeons to travel to the Indigenous community to operate on children with hearing problems.
About 90% of Indigenous children in northern Australia suffer some form of middle ear problem. Mayor of Palm Island, Alf Lacey, said hearing among the island's children had been a major health issue for years. 'This will allow the kids of Palm Island to seek specialist help and we're proud to be a part of that,' he said. 'The Deadly ears program will allow us to work with our families and our kids and put a stop to this hearing problem.'
Funding from the Federal and State Governments will be used to expand the Deadly ears program to Palm Island, for specialists to carry out screening and for follow-up health care of island children.