A new four-wheel-drive vehicle which will allow for easier patient pick-ups is in store for Telethon Speech and Hearing’s Pilbara program.

The Chevron Ear Health Program, runs from Wickham to Onslow and ensures access to ear health services for Aboriginal children and their families in the Pilbara.

The new vehicle has been made possible thanks to a $10,000 donation as part of Australia Post’s 2019 Community Grants scheme.

The project aims to reduce transportation barriers through the purchase of a family vehicle to transport families to and from medical appointments, reducing their risk of hearing loss and/or speech delays and disorders.

Telethon Speech and Hearing chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick said Aboriginal children in the Pilbara were 10 times more likely to develop chronic middle ear conditions than non-Aboriginal children. “Many families are not able to access quality hearing supports due to the remote nature of many communities,” he said.

“Through the partnership between Australia Post and Telethon Speech and Hearing, more than150 at-risk Aboriginal families from remote Pilbara communities will be able to access surgical interventions for their hearing, ensuring distance is no longer a barrier.”