KATH to prevent hearing and speech impairment among children

The Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Centre of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has stepped up efforts at preventing hearing and speech impairment among children through neo-natal screening.

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Newborn babies at the referral facility are now thoroughly examined for early detection of any condition that could affect their speech or hearing.

The scientists followed babies born in a rural area of The GambiaDr. Joseph Opoku Buaben, Head of the ENT Directorate, said it was additionally training nurses in district hospitals across the Ashanti Region to diagnose and refer kids with hearing defects for treatment.

He was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a free ear screening exercise for children under five years, to mark this year’s World Hearing Day celebration.

The third day of March, has been set aside by the World Health Organization (WHO) as world hearing day, to educate the public on the prevention and management of deafness, especially among kids.

The screening exercise was jointly organized by the Speech Therapist and Audiologist Association of Ghana (STAAG), the ENT Department of KATH and Otorhinolaryngology Society of Ghana (OSG) under the theme “Childhood hearing loss, act now, here’s how”.

Dr. Buaben noted that 60 per cent of deafness among children was preventable and identified non-immunization against early childhood diseases – measles, meningitis and cerebral malaria as some of the causes.

Certain types of drugs including streptomycin, neomycine and others which are termed as aminoglycocides, could also have effect on newborn babies when used in pregnancy for long time.

Other causes are trauma during delivery, administration of unorthodox drugs onto the ears of children, assault and genetics.

Dr. Buaben pointed out that when people “don’t hear well they could not speak well” and that could lead to disability of the individual.

He therefore encouraged parents to properly examine their children in their early growth stages to identify speech and hea

Source: GNA

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