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Equipment donation opens hearing center

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ACCRA, Ghana — Through the efforts of Latter-day Saint Charities and a team of physicians from Ghana and throughout the world, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra now provides hearing testing and treatment for patients with hearing disorders. Until now, the Korle Bu E.N.T. (Eyes, Nose and Throat) Department has been forced to refer patients to a hearing assessment center in Kumasi, a five-hour drive from Accra.

Dr. Keith Merrill, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, and missionary medical adviser for the Africa West Area, has made contact with many of the leading medical practitioners in Ghana during his two-plus years of service. He recognized the need for audiology as a result of his discussions with Dr. Emmanuel D. Kitcher, a British-trained specialist who heads the Korle BU E.N.T. Department.

Over a period of several months, hospital officials and Latter-day Saint Charities staff jointly developed a plan. A building was located and committed for remodeling to house the new clinic at hospital expense. Dr. Robert L. Rane of Huntsville, Ala., and Dr. Robert L. Stevenson of Logan, Utah (both Church member audiologists), were recruited by Latter-day Saint Charities to provide consultation on audiology methods, the functions of a clinic, needed equipment and audiology technician training. During the week of March 15, Dr. Rane and Dr. Stevenson brought to Ghana electronic equipment that had been purchased or donated. Then they spent the week preparing the first group of trainees (mostly experienced ENT nurses) in the methods of hearing testing, creation of ear molds and the fitting of hearing aids.