On the 27th October 2017, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Volunteer Audiologist, Bhavisha Parmar, the Children’s Hearing Clinic in University Teaching Hospital (UTH) was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Jabbin Mulwanda.
This is the first paediatric clinic of its kind in Zambia, which is fully equipped to assess the hearing of children at risk of hearing loss and provide the necessary hearing aid fittings, follow up and rehabilitation.
It was a day to remember for our Volunteer Audiologist Bhavisha as all her hard work and preparation over the past few months paid off, at the successful official launch:
“I didn’t quite realise what I was getting myself into when I proposed the idea of having a big opening ceremony of the Children’s Hearing Clinic and it took on a whole different life when the Ministry of Health suggested I link it with the launch of the first ever Ear, Nose and Throat Strategic Health Plan.”
The launch was well attended with over 120 people including: was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Jabbin Muluwanda.
The launch was a huge success, with 120 people attending including Sound Seekers CEO Emma Judge, the British High Commissioner to Zambia, CEO of Beit Cure Hospital, CBM Country Director, Senior Medical Superintendent of UTH, President of Zambia National Association of the Deaf, and representatives from the Ministry of Education.
During the launch, Bhavisha took to the podium and spoke of ‘The Need, The Now and Next for Audiology services in Zambia. You can watch Bhavisha’s Speech here:
She was followed by Sound Seekers CEO, Emma Judge, who spoke about this great achievement
A speech was also conducted by the Permanent Secretary of Health services on how the Ministry of Health were committed to supporting the growth of audiology services in Zambia and the importance of the ENT strategic plan. He spoke on behalf of the Minister of Health, whose speech included this paragraph which was followed by great applause:
“It has come at a great time when we are restructuring the health sector, and I am glad to inform this meeting…that positions for ENT have been established in all our provisional centres. But most importantly, for this gathering, is that audiology positions have also been included in the current structure”
After the speeches, Bhavisha along with others in attendance were then led to the new Children’s Hearing clinic after Dr Muluwanda cut the ribbon that was placed around a bound copy of the ENT plan to officially mark its launch.
You can watch the cutting of the ribbon of the Children’s Hearing Clinic here:
Bhavisha described this memorable moment and her excitement for the future of Zambian audiology and ENT services.
“I was relieved and excited for the future of Zambian audiology and ENT services. The opening ceremony of a clinic is very much just the beginning and commitment is needed at a government level to ensure the continual growth of services with adequate follow up and support for children with hearing loss as well as their families.”
We would like to thank everyone who supported and attended the launch, making it possible for children with hearing loss in Lusaka to gain access to much needed audiology services. Thank you.
You can read Bhavisha’s full blog post of the lead up to the Launch on her fantastic journey of her year in Zambia here.
Jenny Buckley is our new Volunteer Teacher of the Deaf in Malawi. Jenny will be in based in Blantyre until June 2018 as the technical lead for the education component of the Comprehensive Audiology Services in Blantyre, where she will train Itinerant Special Needs teachers on the inclusion of children with hearing loss in mainstream schools and basic awareness on Primary Ear and Hearing Care.
“This is a time of first’s for me, my first trip to Africa, my first long haul flight by myself, my first encounter with catching a connecting flight and my first volunteer placement to mention but a view. I am grateful for the opportunity and will continue to go with the flow and enjoy each moment.”
John’s Story: Watch new video from our work in Zambia
On Day One of International Week of the Deaf (18th to 24th September 2017) , Sound Seekers are delighted to launch a new video, thanks to our Volunteer Tim Ringger from Sonova and The Hear the World Foundation who helped tell John’s story.
Watch the incredible moment when John, aged 88, gets his hearing back.
Meet John Kaonga from Zambia. He is 88 years old and has 12 children and too many grandchildren to count. John used to work on the farm but is now at home with his family and enjoys gardening at home. John had difficulty hearing for the past year, but didn’t seek any medical help. He relied on lip-reading to understand his family, and people often had to shout to speak to him. His 22 year old grandson heard about the Audiology Services at Ndola Central Hospital in Zambia, established by Sound Seekers. He brought his grandfather in to have his hearing checked.
John had his hearing tested by Anita Lungo, whose training as a Hearing Instrument Specialist was sponsored by Sound Seekers in 2016. This was the first time John had his hearing tested. He was diagnosed with severe sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. Within the same morning, Anita was able to take impressions, make ear moulds, and fit and test John with two new hearing aids, donated by Hear the World Foundation. John was amazed he could hear again and said:
“I am very happy and I can now talk to my grandchildren. Now I don’t feel jealous that other people are talking and I was unable to take part in the conversation.
“I can’t believe this!”
Before Sound Seekers’ support there were no audiology services in Ndola. There is a now a fully equipped audiology clinic and an ear mould lab within Ndola Central Hospital, and two trained Hearing Instrument Specialists to deliver much needed ear and hearing health services. The audiology services at Ndola Central Hospital also include a HARK vehicle (Hearing Assessment and Research Clinic) which provides mobile outreach services to remote and rural areas. This year the HARK is focusing on weekly outreach visits to primary schools in Ndola District to screen children for hearing loss. In addition, we have trained 96 community workers in Primary Ear and Hearing Care (PEHC) in Ndola where PEHC training and awareness has been delivered in local schools and health centres.
Sometimes it only take a little to make a huge impact.
Please help change the lives of more people like John.
Sound Seekers would like to thank Bankside Gallery for hosting a fantastic fundraising event for us on Thursday 11th May 2017, and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended the event and supported us.
We are delighted to tell you the event, silent auction and raffle raised an incredible £6,535.
Thank you to Bankside Gallery for donating 20% of sales on night The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers’ Original Prints Exhibition, which featured and features new works by leading printmakers.
Thanks to Anita Klein, a past President of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, who gave a speech on the night, and everyone who donated our silent auction and raffle prizes, and a special thanks to Specsavers for sponsoring the event.
The money raised will help more children and adults with hearing loss in Africa to improve their lives.
We are delighted the Aston Audiology Society has nominated us as their charity for their Hear to Help 2017 Charity Gala next month in May.
The Aston Audiology Society was only established last month in March 2017, and is the first ever Audiology Society at the University. As a society, they aim to increase awareness of hearing disabilities within the community, support charities working towards this cause locally and in developing countries, and to promote links between University students and companies offering solutions for the hearing impaired.
This evening is open to all, and therefore please do not hesitate to invite friends, family, and colleagues to an enjoyable evening they have planned. There will be a three-course meal and performances on the night.
Please see below the details of the event:
Date: Thursday 4th of May 2017, 6.00 PM to 9.00 PM
Venue: Tipu Sultan, 43 Alcester Rd, Birmingham, B13 8AA
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a silent auction for some amazing prizes! A form can be submitted at our fundraising event tomorrow evening (Thursday 12th May) at Bankside Gallery by 8pm or email your bid to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Monday 16th May.
1. Two Club Wembley Gold Debenture tickets for England v Portugal football match on 2nd June 2016. Also includes exclusive access to the Gold Debenture Holders’ Bar; free drinks at half time and Programme.
Minimum bid: £250
2. Four Gold Debenture tickets to the T20 Blast at Lords between Middlesex v Sussex Sharks on Thursday 16th June at 6.15pm. Also includes exclusive access to Lords’ Debenture holders’ licensed bar and terrace, providing refreshments, light meals and snacks.
Minimum bid: £200
3. Two tickets to see Beyoncé live at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 3rd July.
Bankside Gallery has kindly offered to host a fundraising event for Sound Seekers on Thursday 12th May 2016 from 6-8pm.
The exhibition is on “Re Original Prints”, which feature new works by leading printmakers. Michael Barratt, the President of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE), will be giving a speech. Bankside Gallery has generously offered to donate 20% of all sales on the night to Sound Seekers.
Traditional Malawi music will be performed by our Malawian MSc students and there will also be a silent auction.
Please follow the link to our event to get your free tickets: