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Hearing loss in Nicaragua

About 10 years ago, Dr. James Saunders traveled to Jinotega, Nicaragua, with a church group to do some basic medical relief work. "Right off the bat, we realized that we were seeing all these kids that . . . had hearing loss," recalls Saunders, an ear, nose, and throat doctor at DHMC. "So we were really curious about that." Saunders wanted to know what was causing such a high prevalence of hearing loss and he wanted to do something to help. So he launched a research project that is still going today (for more on that, read "Nicaraguan findings may lead to hearing aid"), and he cofounded Mayflower Medical Outreach. Since 1999, the organization has sent several medical teams to Nicaragua to do trainings and surgeries; has recruited a fulltime ear, nose, and throat doctor and an audiological technician to Jinotega; has dispensed hundreds of hearing aids, as well as batteries; has conducted several screenings in the schools in Jinotega; and has built and continues to fund a dormitory at a special education school in the region so more deaf kids can attend the school. Here Dr. Saunders shares some of his photos from his travels to Jinotega and to Bonanza, a gold-mining district, where he also conducts research.


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