Dr Ijeoma Nnodim, a Paediatrician born with hearing impairment, has expressed profound gratitude to the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and Starkey Hearing Foundation for giving her a pair of hearing aids worth over a million Naira, free of charge. Here is what she wrote on her Facebook page:
Mummy I Have Been Calling You But You Didnt Answer
It was a sweltering afternoon and I had just picked up my children from school. While driving home the following conversation ensued between my 5 year-old Bambina and I;
Bambina: Mummy I love Dominion very much.
Me: (Flabbergasted ) Is Dominion a girl or a boy?
Bambina: Dominion is a boy now
Me: (Warily) And why do you love him?
Bambina: Because he loves me too
Me: (With rising alarm) How do you show that you love each other?
Bambina: Whenever my teacher punishes me for being bad, he tells me sorry and I also tell him sorry when she punishes me.
Me: (Note to self; reinforce what you have told her about sex education)
Now this post is not about my daughter or about sex education. This is about the fact that I was having a conversation with my kid. I could hear what she was saying and give appropriate responses.
If you know me or have read my story, you will know that I have severe-to-profound hearing loss and need hearing aids. My hearing aid was once faulty and I needed to either service it or buy a new one.
Hearing aids are expensive and can cost up to NGN 650,000 or more depending on the type.
Not two but one o. In other words, if someone had to buy two that would be 1.3million NGN(Naira).
Ladies and gentlemen, 1.3million naira can buy you a plot of land in Asaba, Delta State. Not in the “evil forest” o. In an average developing area. Who has that kind of money? I didn’t.
I stumbled on a post by Dr Gbemisola Boyede on a free hearing aid program by Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation. I said to myself “Could this be true?, No harm in trying”
The program had outreaches in Ogun, Lagos, Abia, Kaduna and Kwara. I opted for the closest one which was at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia state.
I saw many people of various ages who came to benefit too. We were screened and ear impressions were made for ear moulds for those requiring hearing aids. The last ear mould I made 3years ago cost 20,000naira for one ear.
The moulds and hearing aids were ready in three months and we were asked to return. I collected two hearing aids with ear moulds and 6packs of batteries. I used to buy a pack of batteries 2,500naira.
All these were given FREE OF CHARGE by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation in collaboration with Starkey Hearing Foundation. That was not all. Since then, they have come periodically to ensure the hearing aids were working well with the last visit being 22nd of January 2018.
The news, even social media is awash with The Obasanjo Letter to Buhari. A lot has been written both negative and positive.
When I see the higi haga and crinkum crankum (apologies to Obahiagbon) about Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, I simply remember.
I would remember when I was unable to have a good conversation with my kids.
I would remember when my daughter would say “Mummy I have been calling you but you didn’t answer”
Then I would say a silent “Thank you ” to the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation or Starkey Hearing Foundation except as a beneficiary of the hearing aids and accessories. Neither have I set my eyes on or heard from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Ehen.
Dr Ijeoma Nnodim
May God bless the pioneers of this initiative.