THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL EAR AND HEARING CARE PROGRAM AND DONATION OF MICROSCOPES BY OPERATION EAR DROP KENYA AT SILVER SPRINGS HOTEL, NAIROBI.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu, on Friday 5th August 2016, officially launched the first National Strategy for Ear and Hearing Care; the Policy Guidelines and Protocols on establishment of Ear and Hearing Units; and the management guidelines of Ear and Hearing Conditions. This program will look into ways of addressing hearing loss in Kenya. In addressing the importance of the Program, the CS noted that the National Strategy for Ear and Hearing Care is an important milestone for the health sector, as it will form a framework for coordination, mobilization of resources and effective use of scarce resources in a bid to address the hearing loss. The CS thanked the Technical Working Group on Ear and Hearing Care led by Prof. Isaac Macharia for developing the guidelines. The CS thanked Operation Ear Drop Kenya for the donation of the seven operating microscopes and for their continued support to ENT training. He added that the support would improve doctors’ skills and clinical outcome for the ENT patients.
Mrs. Tani Austin, Co-Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation who was present urged all the stakeholders involved to continue working together to improve the lives of people living with disability. She lauded efforts by Operation Ear Drop Kenya in improving the quality of ear care through the donation of the microscopes and training of the ENT surgeons in specialized area of microsurgery. “Alone we can’t do much, together we can change the world” said Tani Austin. Starkey Hearing Foundation provided the financial support for the process of developing the guidelines and documents.
Dr. Nathan Bakyaita, Officer In-Charge WHO Office, noted that the launch is a great milestone for the country towards prevention and control of non-communicable conditions, which are increasing very rapidly and more so in Sub Saharan Africa. He also took the opportunity to thank the Operation Ear Drop Kenya in equipping the local hospitals with operating microscopes. “I would also like to thank our partners for donating these operating microscopes that will go along way in improving outcomes among these with hearing loss that can be surgically corrected” Said Dr. Nathan Bakyaita.
Operation Ear Drop Kenya ( OED-K) in collaboration with its sister organization in Netherlands, Ear Drop Foundation, also donated seven operating microscopes to health centers in seven counties namely: Kericho District Hospital, Mwingi Level 4 Hospital, Kakamega County General Hospital, Ngara Health Center, Meru Level 5 Hospital, Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital, and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
While officially handing over the operating microscopes, the Chair of Operation Ear Drop Kenya, Dr. Chimmy Omamo-Olende noted that lack of necessary equipment to treat ear and hearing health impairments at many health centers and hospitals (at primary level) has led to failure of the ENT surgeons to deliver the care. “These operating microscopes will help the hospitals to carry out day today surgeries such as tympanoplasty. This will make a world of difference to many people in Kenya.” Dr. Chimmy Omamo-Olende.