FEATURES

Excellence in ear and hearing health for Indigenous children

Professor Amanda Leach


Menzies School of Health Research

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence
2014
$2,576,862

Less than ten per cent of Indigenous children have normal healthy ears 1 2 3

Professor Amanda Leach started her journey as a laboratory scientist analysing every pathogen that might cause ear disease. Today she heads up NHMRC’s Centre for Research Excellence in ear and hearing health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, collaborating with researchers across the country to understand and develop treatment and prevention strategies.

‘Across the CRE we are working on an update of the guideline – Recommendations of Clinical Care on the Management of Otitis Media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children (the OM guideline),’ Professor Leach said.

Ear disease also causes educational and social issues as it restricts the ability to hear.

‘It’s like putting your fingers over your ears and trying hear the world, understand the world—communicate with your mum and dad. The hearing loss is not unlike what it might be for your grandma,’ Professor Leach said.

‘I would like to see eradication of perforated ear-drums—that’s number one—and healthy ears for early learning is number two.’

Professor Leach shares her NHMRC funded research with us. 


 
  1. Morris, P.S., et al., Otitis media in young Aboriginal children from remote communities in Northern and Central Australia: a cross-sectional survey. BMC.Pediatr, 2005. 5: p. 27-37.
  2. Leach, A.J., et al., Otitis media in children vaccinated during consecutive 7-valent or 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination schedules. BMC Pediatr, 2014. 14(1): p. 200.
  3.  Leach, A.J., et al., General health, otitis media, nasopharyngeal carriage and middle ear microbiology in Northern Territory Aboriginal children vaccinated during consecutive periods of 10-valent or 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol, 2016. 86: p. 224-32.