Ear and hearing disorders in rural grade 2 (Sub B) schoolchildren in western Cape in in the and
Four hundred and one children living in rural araas with a high level of poverty were assessed for ear and hearing disorders in their second year of schooling. Overall, only 40,3% of these children had both normal-appearing ear drums and normal hearing thresholds bilaterally; 14% had obstructing wax plugs; 17% had evidence of past acute otitis media with scarring or progression to chronicity - 6% having perforations; 31% had middle-ear effusions and/or their sequelae; and 33% had some impairment of hearing but, if the effect of testing in the classroom environment is considered, there was probably only significant impairment in 9%. It is suggested that the prevalence of chronic ear disorders is a useful marker of the quality of primary care in rural communities.
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