Etua Raki had been struggling in the classroom and had a tough time keeping up with the rest of his classmates, but that all changed when a hearing test was admitted to all the students in his school. When Raki failed the hearing test, his mother, Tania immediately took him to the Waitemata District Health Board mobile clinic, which was just recently opened to assist with residents in the deprived community. The mobile clinic allows these children to receive appropriate health care that they deserve, in a more timely manner than what they would normally receive.
A public health nurse was assigned to Raki’s case, and it didn’t take long for her to discover why the young boy had failed his hearing test…
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He had a piece of a lego and a toy battery lodged inside his ear. Certainly not something that a public health nurse witnesses every day.
The two odd pieces were removed from his ear, and soon he was hearing at full capacity again.
Tania, who had no idea how long the pieces had been wedged in her son’s ear, admits that she doesn’t know what she would have done if it hadn’t been for the mobile clinic.”He had failed the hearing test and I saw the mobile clinic was up the road so I took all four of my children to get checked.”
While Etua still has a long road to recovery ahead of him, he and his family are grateful that they were able to get such timely treatment. The objects caused severe damage and he will have to undergo several tests, treatment, and possibly even surgery, but the result could’ve been a lot worse if he hadn’t utilized the benefits of the mobile clinic. Had he gone through the traditional health care system, it could’ve been several years before he received the treatment that he needed, which in turn, could’ve played a traumatic role on his education and progress in life.
The mobile clinic was launched by a fundraiser known as the Well Foundation, which raised $210,000 that went towards implementing a more advanced mobile health clinic. Supporters of the foundation include: The Trusts Community Foundation, ProCare Charitable Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation and various Rotary clubs.The clinic, which replaces one of the two clinics in the area, is far more advanced that the other mechanically unreliable clinics that have been used in the past.
The clinic which came to Etua’s rescue is complete with a self-sufficient power supply, which allows nurses to free up their time from running a power lead so that they can travel to other areas and locations where new patients need treatment. This new way of assessing and treating patients will be able to handle the future demand, as it is better equipped and more capable of tending to vulnerable people in the community. The primary use for the clinic will be for public health nurses in schools, early childhood locations and various other public centers. The health board has plans to expand the services to the North Shore, while still using the older mobile clinics in the west Auckland suburbs and some areas of Rodney.
“There is a real need to ensure the clinic can provide for those who are struggling,” said Waitemata District Health Board Chief Executive, Dale Bramley. “It has proven to break down barriers that typically stop people from accessing health care when they need it and often before a small health problem becomes a big one.”