WORLD HEARING DAY 2018 HELD AT KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL
Operation Ear Drop Kenya (OEDK) in a collaborative effort with key stakeholders (Kenyatta National Hospital, CBM Kenya, and University of Nairobi) organized a campaign to mark this year’s World Hearing Day to raise awareness on the theme “Hear the Future”.
This year’s theme (“Hear the Future”) spotlights an anticipated rise in the number of people with hearing loss in the coming years. According to WHO, there are 466 million people with hearing loss in the world. Unless action is taken, by 2030 there will be nearly 630 million people with disabling hearing loss; by 2050, the number could rise to over 900 million.
OEDK organized a number of free public health initiatives and activities at Kenyatta National Hospital. These included:
- Free Hearing Screening
- Free Treatment of ear conditions
- Free Medication
- Ear and hearing health education on prevention of hearing loss
- Referral and follow up of patients who require ear surgery.
- The ENT health professional also used the opportunity to inform, communicate, and educate the public on issues related to ear and hearing health care.
Prof. Isaac Macharia of University of Nairobi shared and highlighted key information relating to the theme “Hear the Future”. Prof. Macharia emphasized on the strategies to mitigate the anticipated increase in number of people with disabling hearing loss. Other speakers included Dr. Chimmy Olende of Operation Ear Drop Kenya, who called upon all partners and stakeholders including the Ministry of Health (key stakeholder) to actively get involved and allocate suitable resources to address hearing loss, and integrate ear and hearing care into health systems to enhance prevention and early detection.
Dr. Mugwe of University of Nairobi University highlighted the role of the university in training of ENT and Audiology.
Dr. Masinde of Kenyatta National Hospital highlighted the steps taken by the hospital to improve the quality of ear and hearing care programs through training of hearing care professionals.
The speakers during the event used the momentum of the World Hearing Day to call on all key stakeholders to continue training hearing care professionals, ensure access to hearing technologies and communication services, and regulate sound exposure as advocated by WHO as action plan.
The World Hearing Day 2018 was widely covered by national media