News

“Hearing the world around me is priceless”

21 January 2021
Sene's happiness for hearing again after two years of silence @UNFPA Turkey / Yasin Güngör

ADANA, Turkey - “Hearing the world around me is priceless” says Sene. For two years, she struggled with a severe infection of the ear that prevented her from hearing anything and gave her severe headaches.

Sene was seven years old when her family fled from Hasakah, Syria, because of the war. She is fifteen now and lives in rural Adana, southern Turkey, with her parents and seven siblings. Sene is a seasonal agricultural worker like her parents.

“The problem started two years ago. I had constant ear pain. My mother took me to hospital a few times. However, it wasn’t received well by my father and his family. According to what they believe, it was not right that a woman was going outside with her adolescent girl. They didn't even believe that I was sick. There was a huge fight and my father took us to live with his parents for a while. Thus, my treatment couldn’t be completed.”

Sene’s mother Meryem El-Sehu was so upset for being separated from her children, especially Sene considering her health problem. Given that Sene’s pain was increasing day by day and she started losing her hearing capacity, Meryem talked and finally convinced her husband to take Sene to hospital. However, he couldn’t get any results regarding her treatment because of the language barrier Then UNFPA Turkey’s mobile health team met with Sene in the tent settlement where they live in rural Adana.

“When UNFPA’s health and social workers visited us, I was almost deaf. They listened to our story, talked to my father and immediately arranged an appointment in a specialised ear clinic at the state hospital. They accompanied and helped us at the hospital. They communicated with hospital staff, made all necessary arrangements and took an appointment for the surgery. I finally had my operation last week, and my life has completely changed since then.”

Sene is hearing the world again after two years of severe pain. “I feel like I have started to live again,” says Sene.

UNFPA is working in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of Health to deploy mobile service units in five cities in Turkey, reaching thousands of refugees, migrants and seasonal agricultural workers. The services are funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid.

Sene is with her younger brother @UNFPA Turkey / Yasin Güngör
Sene is with her younger brother @UNFPA Turkey / Yasin Güngör