ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Health Report) – The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole (Prof) has inaugurated a Technical Working Group (TWG) for Ear Care and Hearing Health in Nigeria.
While inaugurating the Group recently in Abuja, the Minister tasked the TWG to develop a National Strategic Plan on Ear Health Care and Community – Based Hearing Healthcare programs which would improve the ear care of Nigerians, across the country. He also said that there is need to identify centres where the care could be accessed as well as developing a Public School for Ear / Hearing Screening Program targeted at one million students in Nigeria as according to him, the relationship between hearing and speaking cannot be overemphasized.
Isaac Adewole stressed the need for the Group to come up with actionable plans and pathways towards reducing preventable hearing losses, improving access to hearing health professionals, and providing rehabilitative services to the hearing impaired. He further assured the TWG of Federal Government’s commitment towards their task, pointing out that the Group is expected to complete the assignment within four (4) months.
The Minister also informed that the Starkey Hearing Foundation has graciously agreed to sponsor the TWG activities to ensure timely completion of the national assignment. He announced the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the TWG to include: developing a National Ear Health Policy; developing a National Strategic Plan for Ear Care and developing and implementing the Screening Plan for Ear Screening in public schools across the country.
In his welcome address at the occasion, the Director of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, Joseph Amedu (Dr) said that members of the TWG are specialists in the field of Ear Care and Hearing Health. He observed that there is need for the Group to fast- track all activities towards achieving results for the betterment of Nigerians.
Responding on behalf of the TWG, the Co-chairman and Director of Global Health / Research in Starkey Hearing Foundation, Luqman Lawal (Dr) pledged that the Group will be committed to the task ahead and would deliver on its mandate.