The Medical Specialist Group’s audiologist, Dr Lawrence Hill, is moving to Malawi at the end of June with his wife and three children to work as a lecturer and help manage the country’s only audiology clinic.
He will be replaced by a locum, Dr Nel Govender, who is known to many patients locally, having covered for Lawrence during his six-week sabbatical to Malawi at the start of the year. She has a clinical doctorate in audiology and more than 20 years’ experience as a clinical audiologist in the NHS and private sector.
Lawrence (pictured) said: “I am proud of what I’ve achieved over the past seven years at the MSG. One of my aims was to have world-class equipment, and with the help of the Guernsey Deaf Children’s Society we managed to purchase wide band tympanometry which has proved very helpful to patients. It’s a test which is still not routinely available on the NHS.
“It’s always been such a deep joy for me when I help children with hearing loss through their school years and see them successfully go onto university or start work. Nothing makes me prouder!
“I have enjoyed working with James Dumbleton, my audiology assistant, whose excellent ability with patients and sense of humour has kept me sane.’
Dr Steve Evans, MSG chair, said: “We would like to thank Lawrence for everything he has done at the MSG, and for putting our patients first always. It’s a great thing he is going to do in Malawi and we wish him all the best.”
The burden of hearing loss in children in Malawi is estimated to be at least 100 times higher than in Europe with 60 % of this hearing loss preventable.
Lawrence said: “It’s hard to explain the horror that babies born with hearing loss go through in Malawi. They are condemned to isolation, extreme poverty, and exploitation. It’s a horrible injustice that I can work towards ending.”