The CRE_ICHEAR is a national research collaboration dedicated to improving ear and hearing health of Indigenous children, through high quality innovative research, Indigenous leadership, and more effective and sustainable research translation. In particular, the CRE collaboration encompasses expertise in health promotion research, evaluation of Government initiatives such as housing, vaccine trials for otitis media (OM) prevention, antibiotic trials for treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) and chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM), surgical trials for hearing restoration, clinical trials of novel therapeutics, and data linkage with education outcomes, expanded analyses and mathematical modelling of combined data over a 20-year period.
Our mission is to ‘close the gap’ in educational and social disadvantage associated with the high prevalence of OM and conductive hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The CRE_ICHEAR is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, from 2014 to 2019. The key participating institutions for Menzies School of Health Research, Western Sydney University, The University of Western Australia, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. More details or the teams, opportunities and our work is available at our website: http://www.earandhearinghealth.org.au/.
The CRE_ICHEAR logo is derived from an artwork by local Indigenous artist and past Menzies staff member, Norma Benger Chidanpee. The story depicts the dragonfly which the grandmothers use to test a baby's reaction to the wing vibrations. A baby who cannot hear is given special care by the family. There are two ear drums – one with a large perforation and multiple pneumococci and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, and one is a normal translucent drum and light reflection. The perforated ear is being treated in the traditional way with a wash made from the green tree-ant. The healthy drum is surrounded by a ring of natural and vaccine-induced antibodies which keep the middle ear healthy.