Cochlear implant coming soon courtesy of UoN and KNH

Dr. Sarah Ndegwa (L) hands over a donation of audiology machine from the University of Nairobi to KNH CEO Dr. Evanson Kamuri during the World Hearing Day 2020.

Cochlear implant surgeries will soon be offered by Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons from the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

The good news was revealed by KNH CEO Dr. Evanson Kamuri during the event that was held to mark World Hearing Day at the College of Health Sciences on 3rd March, 2020.

Dr. Kamuri said the ENT team, that comprises of staff from both UoN and KNH have continued to show integrity and professionalism in their work and urged them to take up the challenge and start offering cochlear implant surgeries and make the department a center of excellence.

He assured the department of full support from KNH management will continue to support the ENT Department.

“Come up with what the department needs and we will include them in the budget. We will buy hearing aids for the patients because Universal Healthcare covers all areas,” Dr. Kamuri said.

He further challenged the department to start doing neo natal screening saying it is good to go where the rest of the world is going to.

On his part, Dr. Thomas Chokwe, who represented the Dean, School of Medicine said UoN continues to train ENT specialists to ensure that healthcare provision is not hindered. And it is because of this that other institutions of higher learning and other organizations always visit the unit for benchmarking.

The theme of this year’s event was "Hearing for Life. Don't let hearing loss limit you". Its selection by the World Health Organization (WHO) expresses the key message that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential.

Latest statistics from WHO indicate that close to 466 million people around the world have disabling hearing loss and 34 million of these are children.

WHO further estimates that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.

Hearing loss may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing.

It has been found that 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.

1.1 billion young people (aged between 12–35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings.

People with hearing loss benefit from early identification; use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive devices; captioning and sign language; and other forms of educational and social support.

Present during the event were Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Prof. Isaac Macharia, ENT surgeon, UoN, Dr. Omamo Olende, Chairperson Operation Ear Drop, and Dr. Sarah Ndegwa, UoN ENT specialist.