M a r k e t N e w s

Health ministry launches a new strategy for Ear and Hearing care

Posted on : Wednesday, 10th August 2016

NAIROBI, Kenya, 5 August 2016 – Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Cleopa Mailu today launched the first National Strategy for Ear and Hearing Care, focusing the nation on a long-neglected problem.

During the launch the CS noted that ear and hearing care has become more important today, due to the rising burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

He noted that ear disease is one of the non-communicable conditions that affect a significant number of adults and children in the country.

 ‘’Five to eight per cent of the population of Kenya have hearing impairment according to a National Survey of Deafness of 1995 in 30 districts,’’ the CS said.

Dr. Mailu also revealed that the common causes of hearing loss in Kenya such as chronic otitis media, and meningitis, ototoxicity due to some medicines and occupational and recreational noise exposure can be prevented.

‘’As a ministry we are cognizant of the devastating effect of NCDs and have taken bold steps to address the rising burden as outlined in the Kenya Health Policy’s strategic objectives,’’ the CS emphasized.

Currently the CS noted the country has inadequate number of specialists in ENT to provide services to about 42 million Kenyans.

‘’ I thank the University of Nairobi who have been consistent in training ENT specialists to bridge the gap,’’ he added.

The Government is also equipping 98 hospitals in 47 counties to provide specialized services through the Managed Equipment Service Project.

“This Project is undertaken to improve accessibility of specialized health services – theatres, renal and radiology services including ENT operations to mwananchi,’’ he said

The CS noted that ear diseases are extremely common and are an enormous burden on the health system.

He revealed that childhood hearing impairment is the leading cause of delayed language development, academic under achievement, social isolation, high risk of injury and increased poverty. Profound hearing loss in adults leads to disability and absenteeism from work, which affects productivity and the economy.

It is estimated that 360 million persons across the world live with disabling hearing loss. Many more live with milder degrees of hearing loss. In all regions, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence rates of childhood hearing loss.

Source : www.health.go.ke
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