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.