The Ministry of Health (MoH) in partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation has inaugurated the technical working group for the development of a National Strategic Plan on ear and hearing health.
The working group chaired by Nana Kwabena Adjei-Mensah, MOH Acting Chief Director, had Professor Emmanuel Kitcher, Co-Chair Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Consultant, University of Ghana Medical School; Dr Mohammed Duah, ENT Consultant, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi; and Dr Michael Damah, Senior ENT Specialist Tamale Teaching Hospital, Tamale as members.
Others included; Mr Clement Amponsah, Assistant Lecturer, Department of Audiology, Speech and Language Therapy, School of Biomedcical and Allied Health Sciences; and Mrs Jemima Fynn, Deputy Chief Audiologist, Hearing Assessment Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Dr Luqman Lawal, Director Global Health and Research, Starkey Hearing Foundation; and Dr Christian Laryea, Consultant Paediatrician, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Nana Adjei-Mensah, explained that the technical working group has been mandated to develop a five-year National Policy and Strategic Plan for Ear Care and Hearing health in Ghana by the end of 2018; and to develop a plan for community-based hearing care services.
The mandate also includes the establishment of a baseline for hearing health care.
Dr Lawal, speaking at the inauguration said, the mandate of the working group, falls under the research and policy advocacy of Starkey Hearing Foundation.
He said, the foundation was the leading ear care organisation in the world with programmes in about 62 countries and was based in United States of America with its headquarters in Minnesota.
Dr Lawal added that, the foundation had come to Ghana to support financially and technically in the development of the national strategic plan in ear care and hearing health.
He said Starkey was divided into three divisions: service delivery, which distributes hearing aids and screening; training in capacity building for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels; and research in policy advocacy.
Dr Lawal stated that people should pay attention to hearing impairment just like how they pay attention to AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria.