22 August 2006

Children with hearing loss to be identified sooner

Nigeria gives emphasis to hearing screening of children in order to achieve earlier detection and better treatment of hearing problems.

The most populous African nation has taken its first steps towards the launching of a national screening programme.

"I am happy to report that as a first step, our revised national health policy has provided for early detection and timely intervention for childhood hearing loss as one of its key child health objectives. The purpose of this provision is to give official endorsement to infant hearing screening as a measure of best practice in child healthcare in Nigeria, within the framework of the 1995 WHO resolution on the prevention of hearing impairment,” Eyutayo Lambo, Professor and Health Minister told Nigeria First.

High number of hearing impaired children

The Health Ministry believes the need for improving hearing health care for children in Nigeria is great.

Explained the health minister: "It is sad to report that about 8.7 million children under the age of 18 years in Nigeria are hearing-impaired. In fact, of the 4.8 million babies born yearly, an estimated 27,000 babies are likely to be hearing-impaired."

Source: Nigeria First - distributed by www.allAfrica.com

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