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



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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NCDC registers 1,968 Lassa fever cases in 28 states



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), has registered 1,068 Lassa fever infections across 112 local government areas in 28 states of the federation.

The NCDC said this via its official website on Tuesday in its Lassa Fever Situation Report for Week 37 (Sep. 11 -17, 2023).

The centre indicated that 75 per cent of the cases were detected in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi States.

Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. It is primarily found in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with the urine or feces of infected rodents, specifically the multimammate rat.


According to the NCDC, there are currently 7,352 individuals with suspected cases and the infection has resulted in the unfortunate loss of at least 181 lives in the country.

The centre said that the case-fatality ratio of the infection stood at 16.9 per cent.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 37, 2023, 181 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 16.9 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (19.1 per cent).

“In total for 2023, 28 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 112 local government areas.

“Seventy-five per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi) while 25 per cent were reported from 25 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.


“Of the 75 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 35 per cent, Edo 29 per cent, and Bauchi 11 per cent.

“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 93 years, Median Age: 32 years).

“The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022,” it said.

It is regretted that in 2023 Lassa fever infected 49 healthcare workers across the country.

The agency said that the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels.


It added that prevention of Lassa fever involves avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings, practising good personal hygiene and taking precautions when caring for infected individuals.

The NCDC said that early diagnosis and prompt medical care are crucial in managing the disease and preventing complications.

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NLC, TUC suspend planned strike for 30 days




Organised labour unions have suspended their planned nationwide indefinite strike action for the next one month.

This was contained in a memorandum of understanding signed Monday by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; as well as the TUC President, Festus Osifo, and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro.

The three-page document was also signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.

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