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World Hearing Day: Make hearing aids affordable, available for aged, experts urge FG



Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

Medical experts have urged the Federal Government to make hearing aids affordable and available for the aged population in Nigeria.

They made the appeal on Friday in Abuja while commemorating the World Hearing Day, which is held annually on March 3.

At a sensitisation campaign to create awareness on hearing issues, Dr Ogugua Osiogbu, Head of Geriatrics Unit, National Hospital, Abuja, said that making hearing aids available and affordable for the elderly was very important to enable them continually engage with society.

“With increasing age there’s a big risk for hearing impairment, but I must also say that the very commonest thing that will actually cause hearing impairment in older adults is wax impaction.

“It comes with a very simple treatment, just putting a dissolvent and the wax dissolves.

“The other major cause of hearing impairment in them is what we describe as sensory neural hearing loss and for that they often require hearing aids and these are often very expensive for them to get.

“So our campaign to government and charitable organisations is to make these hearing aids available and affordable for older adults.”

According to Osiogbu, if the hearing impairments of older adults are not taken care of properly, all the information about custom and tradition they have to pass on to the younger generation will not be passed on.

She, however, advised that as people get older, they should avoid things that bring about hearing impairment.

The Acting Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr Abba Gbadamasi, said that there was special attention on the aged because the body of the aged was not as fresh as those who were young.

“Naturally their body organs are tired and the risks are there that is why we look at that population and make sure that we risk access them and care for them and try to tell them how to avoid those challenges.”

Dr Undie NseObong, the Head, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department, said that the day was being commemorated to prevent and help people to be aware of so many things that might cause hearing problems.

According to her, if even a pregnant woman takes some drugs, it might actually cause that baby in the womb to become deaf.

“We just want to ensure that people do not cause hearing problems for themselves.

“For instance, it is very trendy right now to see people use their phones to listen to very loud music.

“There is something called noise induced hearing loss and it is as a result of excessive exposure to very loud sounds like the soldiers that are in the shooting ranges so all those things cause problems with hearing.

“We also do not want people to be using ear drops at random, people just walk into a pharmacy and buy an ear drop but some of those ear drops can actually cause hearing loss because people don’t know, they just use anything they like and it is very wrong.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the world hearing day, with the theme “Ear and hearing care for all”, is celebrated to highlight the importance of integrating ear and hearing care within primary care as an essential component of universal health coverage.

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Food inflation soars by 61 per cent in one year– NBS



Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Nigerians are finding it more difficult to feed themselves, as food inflation rose to 40.66 per cent in May.

This was as the cost of food rose by 61 per cent from 25.25 per cent in June 2023 to 40.66 per cent in May 2024, highlighting a steady rise in the cost of living.

This is according to an analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

On Saturday, the NBS disclosed that headline inflation moved by 0.26 per cent to 33.95 per cent from 33.69 per cent recorded in April.

The report noted that the inflation rate climbed to a 28-year high since March 1996 on higher food and transport prices.

It said, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent.”

The statistics agency also reported major contributing items to headline inflation in May 2024 including food & non-alcoholic beverages (contributing 17.59 per cent), housing, water, and electricity, gas & other fuel (contributing 5.68 per cent), and clothing & footwear (contributing 2.60 per cent).

A breakdown of the data showed that the price of food commodities increased steadily from 25.25 per cent in June, to 26.98 per cent in July, 29.34 per cent, 30.64 per cent in August, 31.52 per cent in September, 31.52 per cent October, 32.84 per cent in November and 33.93 per cent as the end of December 2023.

The rate further increased to 35.41 per cent in January, 37.92 per cent in February, crossed the 40 per cent mark in March, 40.53 per cent in April and 40.66 per cent in May.

NBS said the rate rose to 40.66 per cent in May, compared to the 24.82 per cent reported in the same month last year — indicating an increase of 15.84 per cent points.

The bureau said semovita, oatflake, yam flour prepackage, garri, bean, etc (which are under bread and cereals class), Irish potatoes, yam, water yam, etc (under potatoes, yam and other tubers class), contributed to the year-on-year increase in the food inflation rate.

Other contributors are palm oil, vegetable oil, etc (under oil and fat), stockfish, mudfish, crayfish, etc (under fish class), beef head, chicken-live, pork head, and bush meat (under meat class).

“The food inflation rate in May 2024 was 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 (24.82 per cent).

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending May 2024 over the previous twelve-month average was 34.06 per cent, which was 10.41 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in May 2023 (23.65 per cent),” the report said.

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Omokri tackles Peter Obi over his criticism of ‘new’ presidential jet for Tinubu



Peter Obi

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, on Monday accused the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of lying over the reported purchase of a presidential jet for President Bola Tinubu.

Omokri said, contrary to Obi’s claim, the Nigerian government has no plans to buy a new private jet for Tinubu.

He clarified that the idea to change Tinubu’s presidential jet did not emanate from the presidency.

On Friday, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the FG to purchase new aircraft for Tinubu and Shettima.

Reacting, Obi said: “It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.”

However, Omokri faulted Obi’s comment, which he described as “another Gbajue lie.”

Posting on X, Omokri wrote: “The statement by Peter Obi condemning the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jet for President Tinubu is another Gbajue lie from a man who has elevated lying to an art.

“The reason for this is because there is no such plan. It was the National Assembly that mooted the idea, as is their right. The Executive did not make such plans and has not budgeted any money for such a purpose.

“It is the same way he lied and blamed the Tinubu administration for spending N21 billion on the new residence of the Vice President. What he failed to tell his gullible supporters is that that project was initiated and funded by previous administrations, dating to when our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was in office. Please note that Peter Obi was then our card-carrying member, but he did not attack the project.

“Mr. Peter Obi counts on your gullibility and refusal to research what you read before believing him. That is why he tells such fibs.”

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