The Nigerian Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has inaugurated a Technical Working Group (TWG) for Ear Care and Hearing health in Nigeria.
While inaugurating the Group recently in Abuja, Professor Adewole tasked the TWG to develop a National Strategic Plan on Ear Health Care and Community Based Hearing Healthcare programs which would improve the Ear care of Nigerians.
He also said that there was need to identify centers where the care could be accessed and develop a Public School for Ear/ Hearing screening programme targeting One million students in Nigeria because the relationship between hearing and speaking cannot be overemphasized.
Adewole stressed the need for the Group to come up with actionable plan and pathways toward reducing preventable hearing losses, improving access to hearing health professionals, and provision of rehabilitative services to the hearing impaired.
He further assured the TWG of Federal Government’s commitment towards their task; pointing out that the Group was expected to complete it assignment within Four (4) Months.
The Minister informed that the Starkey Hearing Foundation had graciously agreed to sponsor the TWG activities to ensure timely Completion of the National Assignment.
The Minister spelt out Terms of Reference (TOR) for the TWG to include:
· To develop a National Ear Health Policy
· To develop a National Strategic Plan for Ear Care
· To develop and implement the screening plan for Ear screening in public schools across the country.
In his welcome address, the Director, Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Amedu, said that members of the TWG were specialists in the field of Ear Care and Hearing Health.
He observed that there was need for the Group to fast track all activities towards achieving positive results.
Responding on behalf of the TWG, Co – Chairman and Director, Global Health/ Research (Starkey Hearing Foundation), Dr. Luqman Lawal, pledged that the Group was committed to the task ahead and would deliver on her mandate.