Hear Our Heart Ear Bus Project is a recipient of a Southern Phone Community Grant, through the Gilgandra Shire Council.
To the kids of Dubbo West Public School, the women who teach them how to blow their noses are the "snot ladies." But to the school's principal, Eileen Day, these women are "hearing angels".
"They save some kids' future just by letting them hear," said Mrs Day. Dubbo West's pupils giggled while puppets Snotty Sam and Lucy bickered – bringing to mind traditional Punch and Judy shows – over the best way to blow your nose, and the merits of a "snot explosion." One study found that on any school day, 43 per cent of primary level children would fail a basic hearing test because of middle-ear infections. At Dubbo, after nearly a year of education on how to prevent hearing loss caused by otitis media, or glue ear as the infection of the middle ear from colds or viruses is called, the six- and seven-year-olds are suffering fewer colds and ear infections, and are doing better in school.
Photo and story courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald.