Posted on :Tuesday , 2nd July 2019
The government of Tanzania launched a four-year national strategic plan for ear and hearing care 2019/23 with a promise to reach the most rural places.
Ummy Mwalimu, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, said, "the government had made outstanding efforts to make sure there was a significant reduction in the number of people with hearing impairment."
She said, "this has been made possible through improvement in screening and diagnostic services at community, school and workplace levels to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment."
"In the past 10 years we managed to increase the number of ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists from 11 in 2009 to 46 last year," she said.
She added that the government was supporting experts to perform surgery meant to repair hearing impairment, including cochlear implants at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).
"In the past two years our experts attended to 23 children and there were more than 100 children queuing for this service. We look forward to extending this service to other specialised hospitals and improve preventive services, which are cheap and easy to manage even at household level," she noted.
She said among the top 10 causes of ear and hearing problems 60 per cent were preventable at no cost, the remaining 40 per cent might need expert management.
She further said, "It is my sincere hope that through this partnership with Starkey Foundation for Ear and Hearing Care we will address these challenges and come out victorious as one team."