Michelle Musonda Student Zambia
“My hearing problem started when I was a baby – I basically grew up with it. My parents noticed that I had pus draining from my right ear, occasionally mixed with some blood. My left ear also started giving me problems along the way. This carried on for years and I was only taken to the hospital for the problem when I turned 10 years old. We visited the hospital several times for two years without much improvement. I needed ear surgery and this could not be done at the hospitals I visited.
During this time, I faced a number of challenges at home and at school. I could not understand my siblings and parents most of the time when they spoke to me. In school, I did not get most of what the teacher taught, and as such my performance was poor. Sometimes I would be sent home because of the pus draining from my ears, which made me sad. The pus had a bad smell, and this made me feel uncomfortable around people. I did not have any friends at schools because they did not understand my problem. They thought I ignored them when they spoke to me, but I simply could not understand them. I was bullied by some students and when I reported this to the teacher, nothing was done. My family and I made many hospital visits, and this made me miss a lot of school.
Through my mother’s friend, we heard about a hospital that performs ear surgery, and we visited it in the hope of getting the surgery I needed. The doctor gave me some ear drops and eventually my ears were operated on. At the hospital, I met other children with a similar problem.
Both ears were operated on eventually. My ears healed well and now I hear better and my ears are dry. I am now able to enjoy school and I can hear my family when they speak with me. I am so grateful for the help I received from the hospital.”
Michelle Musonda is a Changemaker who supports the call in the World Report on Hearing for hearing care for all, now. Help change the world for those with hearing loss by sharing her story.