Often times, persons with hearing impairments have had to fly out of the country for corrective surgery but because of the costs incurred many of these have been left to the mercy of caretakers and the harsh school environments mostly for those of school going age.
To bridge the gaps, government in partnership with MEDEL an Austrian based global leader in implantable hearing solutions have launched a subsidized ear surgery operation that is expected to see over 76000 of impaired persons corrected.
Following 6 successful ear surgeries conducted in Mulago by medics from MEDEL in partnership with the ear Nose and Throat experts in Uganda, Ugandans finally get affordable ear surgery options launched by the prime minister in Kampala on Friday.
According to Gregory Tumweheirwe the head ENT association of Uganda, with over 60% of hearing impairments preventable, with the roll out of the cochlear ear implant the country is a step forward to curbing the vice.
“In Uganda 76000 in Uganda requires an ear surgery if this is not addressed in time the problem could escalate.”
In the past, patients and parents had resorted to using of hearing aids but these have failed and only aggravated the problem.
“Hearing aides have been a solution to many but they have failed, the people using them have become more impaired,” DR Phiona Kunobwa an ENT specialist said.
Cochlear implantation has become a routine procedure worldwide for the management of severe-to-profound hearing loss
The prime minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda commended the efforts by the Egyptian Medics and noted that the country will continue to make sure there is equitable access to health.
“We have cut down on import taxes for all medical equipment we hope this will help make sure access to health is affordable.”
While the problem seems to be very big, there are only 18 health facilities in Uganda equipped to carry out Ear Nose and Throat surgeries.
With the use of the cochlear ear implantation system it is believed that more patients will be reached.