UGMC advocates regular ear screening "Offers free screening on World Hearing Day"
The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has marked World Hearing Day with a free ear screening exercise to help members of the public to identify hearing impairment risks for early treatment.
It was part of activities to commemorate the day, celebrated every March 3, to educate the public and create awareness on the need to prevent hearing impairment by promoting regular screening and frequent hearing care.
Celebrated under the global theme: “Ear and Hearing Care for All: Let’s Make it Real”, participants were taken through sessions to demonstrate the importance of general care for the ear and the terrible barriers it created in one’s life if not properly taken care of.
The Head of the UGMC Ear, Nose and Throat Department, Dr Micheal Damah, said research figures estimated that 1.4 million Ghanaians were suffering from disabling hearing loss, with over 60 per cent of these cases preventable.
He, however, stated that even with the high record of numbers, the ear constituted the one of the least parts of the body given the needed attention or care.
Dr Damah explained that hearing loss had physical, emotional and economic impact not only on the individual concerned but also the family, the community and the country as a whole.
The effective intervention for hearing loss, he said, started with the systematic screening of newborns because they were more exposed to hearing defects, preschool and school age children, people exposed to noise or chemicals, individuals on medicines such as antibiotics, and the aged.
An audiologist at UGMC, Abiba Sumaila, said the risk factors associated with hearing impairment could be congenital or acquired.
These factors, she said, included heredity, viral infection during pregnancy, premature birth and anomalies of the ear.
Ms Abiba advised that the public strictly adhered to prescription drugs while they sought immediate treatment in case of high fever or upper respiratory infection.
“Avoid picking ears or putting foreign objects into ear canals, and parents with family history of congenital hearing impairment should seek counselling,” she added.
She further advised the public to avoid exposure to prolonged noise either through the use of earpieces or from the environment, and called for an active adherence policy on noise limits in the environment.
The Chief Executive Officer of UGMC, Dr Darius Osei, stated that as humans an active part of good self-care was the ability to take care of the five senses, which included the ear.
He said the commemoration of the World Hearing Day gave the facility the opportunity to promote care for the ear and to make the public aware of the services the UGMC offered.
“While celebrating, we are reminded of the vision and our determination to fully achieve our mandate of prevention, treatment and promoting good health care,” he said.