For today’s blog I want to share the story of one of my patients. Sarafina and her mother came along to out “World Hearing Day” outreach. Sarafina is now 13 years old and had lost her hearing 6 years ago while fleeing the war in the Congo. They travelled for 2 weeks through forests, at times they had to run from gun fire and explosions at a close range. Lack of knowledge about hearing loss as well as lack of available services meant that she has not seen anyone about her hearing. Her hearing test revealed a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss- this means that there is permanent damage to the hearing pathways. Fortunately hearing aids would offer her some improvement.
The news was tough on her mother emotionally as she had presumed that we would be offering medical treatment to immediately restore the hearing that has been lost. After some counselling (involving three different language translations), Sarafina and her mother decided that they would like to try the hearing aids, impressions were taken and sent off for moulds to be made. A week later we were able to fit her with two new hearing aids.