Mother's joy at being able to hear her young children for first time

Abu Dhabi Health Service gave young mother free hearing aids as part of World Hearing Day

Marwa Badawy and her husband Mohamed Abdelwahed with their three children.

Abu Dhabi Health Services (Seha) has helped a mother hear the voices of her three young children for the first time.

Marwa Badawy, 33, from Egypt, was born with hearing difficulties and could not afford hearing aids.

The starting price of the hearing aid she required was Dh9,000 and her insurance did not cover the cost.

She was never able to hear her children call out her name and struggled to read people’s lips after Covid-19 made it necessary for everyone to wear a mask.

I can’t tell you what it means for the kids that their mum can finally hear them
Mohamed Abdelwahed

Hearing of her plight, Seha’s Ambulatory Health Services offered her and four other patients from Jordan and the Philippines free hearing aids as part of World Hearing Day on Thursday.

“I can’t tell you what it means for the kids that their mum can finally hear them,” her husband, Mohamed Abdelwahed, said.

“Now she can answer them back when they call her, which might seem like a small thing but means a lot for the children,” he said.

Marwa Badawy, pictured right, receives a free hearing aid on World Hearing Day.

Audiologist Dr Thahira Kallumurikkal said Ms Badawy came to the clinic because of decreased hearing.

“After evaluation, it was found that she suffered from severe hearing loss. Her main concern was that she was unable to communicate with her children,” said Dr Kallumurikkal.

“She also had trouble getting insurance approval for her hearing aids so we decided to help and provide free hearing aids.”

World Hearing Day is held on March 3 every year to raise awareness about how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

Seha urged people of all ages to keep track of their hearing and attend regular screenings.

The global theme of World Hearing Day — “To hear for life, listen with care” — highlights that one in two young people are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds.

Dr Zafeer Ahmed, ENT Specialist at Ambulatory Healthcare Services, said noise-induced hearing loss is permanent but largely preventable.

“It’s simply a matter of adopting safe-listening practices — set the volume to 60 per cent of maximum and use well-fitted noise-cancelling headphones, wear ear plugs in noisy areas, don’t sit too close to the source of the sound, seek out a quiet nook from time to time, leverage the use of sound exposure monitoring apps, and purchase devices with built-in safe listening features.”

Updated: March 04, 2022, 6:03 AM