Alfred arrived to pick us up at 8am at the lodge. We set off for our day’s meetings – first to pick up a letter of permission to visit the ENT area at UTH, and with that in hand to actually visit “Clinic 6” which is ENT and Audiology. Permission is required since it is a government hospital, and it is important to follow the rules and regulations!
We briefly met the three physicians there who were all busy with patients (and the hallway was full of waiting patients). We also met the 2 nurses they have, who have been trained to do audiometric tests. They do not dispense hearing aids but refer them to Beit Cure Hospital to Alfred or to the Speech and Hearing Center at UTH – more about that later.
UTH Audio booths: Ellen – one of the nurses trained to do audiometry
Note the equipment – one GSI 16 and 2 even older Beltone audiometers. We also noted one broken GSI 33 on the floor as well as some other older audiometer.
We then dropped off a letter at the Pediatric Center of Excellence (PCOE) that we will visit tomorrow and then went to the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) to request permission to visit the schools for the deaf. This is a branch of the Ministry of Education, and we waited almost 45 minutes after which Alfred finally returned with a Ministry employee who accompanied us on our school visits.
First we went to the primary school which is in the UTH campus. We observed an excellent teacher who was hearing-impaired, but verbal and signing teaching kids math and English. All kids have hearing loss and use sign only. None use hearing aids. All were participating well in class!
We wanted to visit the UTH Speech and Hearing Center, but it was closed and there was nobody available there. It is the only other center in Lusaka other than Beit Cure where hearing aids are dispensed and we were hoping to see their facilities, but that was not to be….
Next we went to Lusaka High School and met with the Head Teacher and visited their 2 classes of boys with hearing loss (grades 8 and 9). We learned that the boys used to get regular follow-ups but that has not been happening lately, and the teacher was interested in getting that service back. Again, none of the boys wore hearing aids and all used sign only. From what we understand from Alfred there are cases where kids with less severe hearing losses are sometimes placed in schools for the deaf due to the lack of services available. Also that deaf kids have a very difficult time finding employment.
Lusaka High School:
Lusaka High School grounds:
Our next stop was back at Beit Cure where we finally gave Alfred the items we had taken for him – immittance tips, ear lights, text books etc. Hopefully they will all be put to good use to provide some small help to the people of Zambia! We also met the German ENT surgeon he works with Dr. Uta Froeschl.
ENT/Audiology at Beit Cure:
We also looked at the housing available for students at Beit Cure.
Potential housing at Beit Cure:
We met back up with Chisomo – and she was wearing the PASO tee shirt we had given her!!!
After a really late lunch with Alfred and Chisomo (today it was after 2pm, but typically, Zambians appear to eat lunch after 1 or 1:30pm), Chisomo took us to visit another housing option for the students next year. We were unable to take pictures as the rooms were currently occupied.
We also went back to the Kabwata Cultural Village to purchase a few last gifts and then headed back to the hotel. Along the way:
Old apartment building:
As in many cities, and in developing countries, we see the old and the new, the ramshackle and the spotless, the poor and the wealthy as well as the clean and the dirty – in Lusaka.
Back at the hotel – our second time to find our fresh towels laid out on the bed with bougainvillea flowers on them – these grow abundantly in vibrant colors everywhere!
Flowers on towel:
We had our last dinner at the hotel tonight. Tomorrow we leave – we can’t believe our trip is lamost over!!!
A final note – there are 2 posts today – yesterday’s and today’s activities – enjoy and we hope to have one final entry before we leave tomorrow!