Government has said emphasis will be placed on regular hearing checkups as the country commemorates World Hearing Day this weekend.
The Ministry of Health said Friday that this year’s celebrations scheduled for March 3 will be themed ‘Check your Hearing’, to mark the importance of having regular check-ups as a strategy for preventing hearing loss and deafness.
This was revealed by Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the State Minister for Primary Health Care as she addressed a news conference at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
Celebrations will be at the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Upper Gardens. As part of the commemorative activities, the Ministry of Health and partners will conduct medical camps where services like ear screenings, treatment of ear diseases, Ear/nose/throat surgery, prescription and provision of hearing aids will be offered.
The Minister said the World Hearing Day will be used to increase awareness about good ear health and prevention of deafness.
She appealed the public to regularly seek for medical assistance from qualified ear/nose/throat health workers and have regular ear checkups at the nearest health centre to prevent and manage ear health in their communities.
“As we honor this day, I appeal the public to protect ears from very loud noise and avoid self-medication” said Kaducu.
The main causes of avoidable hearing loss include; trauma, foreign bodies, while other causes are drug and noise induced.
She said that together with partners, government has adopted a number of strategies to ear health which include improved supply of ear drop medicines, construction od ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) departments in Mbarara, Kabale, Arua, Gulu, Soroti and Jinja Regional Referral Hospitals.
Medium sized departments have also been established in Fort Portal, Moroto, Hoima and Mubende hospitals.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 466 million people had a hearing loss of some degree in 2018 and most of the people live in developing countries which include Uganda.
In Uganda, 5 percent of the population (2 million people) have some degree of hearing loss.
WHO further reports that hearing loss is expected to increase to 630 million by 2030, and 900 million by 2050, if appropriate interventions are not put in place.