In the southern region of Africa resides Zambia, a developing nation of 17 million people with incredibly rich and diverse culture. Although this area is home to many, it has but one audiologist to serve the entire community. This past June, the Oticon Hearing Foundation supplied 400 hearing instruments and batteries to a hearing loss mission in Zambia, Africa with Entheos Audiology Cooperative. Audiologists and other volunteers from around the U.S., including Ashley and Braden Baker, came together to bring hearing assistance to the people in these communities.
One such volunteer is Dr. Judy Huch, of Oro Valley Audiology, Tanque Verde Audiology and non-profit Grace Hearing Center in Tucson, Arizona. Below are her stories and photos from the trip, giving you an inside look into the mission and the communities they served.
“This gentleman came in to have his hearing checked, and was very hard of hearing. I was able to test and fit him and I had the wonderful fortune of having my 50th birthday in Zambia. This gentleman was to turn 100 the next day. We had a lot of fun comparing birthday stories and he was so much livelier and happier once we fit him binaurally!” – Dr. Judy Huch
“This is a picture of the classroom before we set up. This room at the school was one of three buildings that had electricity and where we combined cerumen and earmolds. Both of my sons, sons Sean (17) and Ryan (15) joined Rick and I on this trip to Zambia. It is their second humanitarian trip. Ryan, who is going to be a sophomore in high school, was instrumental in organizing and timing the earmold process.” – Dr. Judy Huch
“This young man had a profound hearing loss and had to patiently wait while we worked on getting a set of hearing aids programmed for him. We learn as a team how to overcome any problem that comes to us to ensure every person that visits us has a fitting that best suits their hearing loss. We do this when the power goes out, when wireless and wired connections hit bumps, we ALWAYS work through each issue because we can’t have the patient come back the next day. I was also trying to not have the sun beat down on him as he traveled quite a distance to see us.” – Dr. Judy Huch