Excitement as pilot newborn hearing screening starts in Nigeria.
Pursuance to reducing the prevalence and the impact of hearing loss in Nigeria, MED-EL Medical electronics, Austria, in collaboration with Hearing healthcare Alliance, PATH Medical, Germany and some Nigerian hospitals, has embarked on a pilot National newborn hearing screening program, which started with training of Nigerian Doctors and Health Care givers on the screening technique.
Speaking at the training session on Thursday in Kaduna, Sebastian Holler, Project manager, Business Development for MED-EL said “early diagnosis of hearing gives a higher chance for the best results of any intervention dealing with hearing loss. This makes hearing screenings a significant success factor.”
Holler revealed that ” the shortage of specialists necessary education and experience is one of the most pressing problems. International human resources and know-how should contribute to the formation of a constantly growing cluster of professionals”
Peter Bottcher International Sales Manager Screening and Tracking Specialist for PATH Medical said ” the screening is possible in Nigeria as it is cheaper to screen infants on hearing and more expensive to have a community of Deaf people. Nigeria can have infants screened at hospitals within cities and even at rural areas.”
Also speaking, the Medical Director National Ear Care Centre, Dr Mustapha Abubakar Yaro, represented by the Head of Clinical Services, Dr.Afred Nicholas Bemu commended the MED-EL for the partnership stressing that the investment of the company in the Human Resources will help in reducing the hearing challenge of Children.
On sustainability of the hearing screening, the Chief Medical Director of the Barau DikkoTeaching Hospital, Professor Abdulkadir Musa Tabari who commended the program urged pioneer Doctors on hearing screening from Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and Jos to commit to the project and escalate it to the remaining part of Nigeria.
The climax of the training was the presentation of Equipment for Hearing Screening to participants drawn from Mihammad Abdullahi Was teaching Hospital, Kano,, Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, Jos University teaching Hospital and National Ear Care Center, Kaduna, which is to serve as the final diagnostic center.
The World health Organization estimates that 432 million adults including 34million children world wide suffer from disabling hearing loss and the number is expected to grow fast and reach at least 700million by 2050. Nearly 60% of hearing loss in children is due to avoidable causes.