Food & Health

8.5m Nigerians Can’t Hear Well – Study

Head of the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, Dr. Evaristus Afiadigwe has said 8.5 million Nigerians have hearing disabilities, as at 2018.

The number grew from the 2008 figure of 6.5 million.

Dr. Afiadigwe disclosed this against the backdrop of the World Hearing Day with the theme: Check your hearing.

The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) projection showed that unless action is taken, there would be nearly 630 million people by 2030, with disabling hearing loss.

He said the number could by 2050 rise to over 900 million. In his further analysis, Dr. Afiadigwe said a recent WHO survey of people living with hearing disabilities in some most populous nations of the world showed that the phenomenon had been on the increase.

The don said the United States of America had 11.5 million and 15 million of such people, respectively, within the years under review.

“So, we can see that the burden is clearly higher than could be imagined. Fortunately, a lot of the causes of hearing loss can be prevented and treatment is available for most conditions, justifying the need for awareness campaign such as this,” he said.

He noted that loss of hearing could be congenital, that is inherited or acquired.

On his part, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Anthony Igwegbe advised the hospital community and the public to always check their hearing status, occasionally, to be on a safe side and for whatever disorder dictated to be handled by medical experts at an early stage.

Other speakers at the event were former CMD of the hospital, Professor O.O. Mbonu, Professor Godwin Obasikene and Dr J.O. Ugboaja, CMAC/Director Clinical Services, Training and Research of the NAUTH, among others.

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