Worried by the consequences of hearing impairment amongst school children, particularly its impacts on their academic performance, the Lagos State Government in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, Hearmax Initiative, has provided hearing aids, an electronic device designed to improve hearing, to nine primary school pupils.
This was done after a pilot study on hearing impairment was commissioned based on the request of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu. During this study, more than 1,000 school children in selected primary schools were screened by the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
The nine pupils were presented with hearing aids after confirmatory tests for varying degrees of hearing loss.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said: “Hearing impairment amongst children most often continues undetected and eventually leads to perennial or permanent negative impacts on their academic performance. It is in recognition of the consequences of hearing impairment that the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Health is collaborating with the Hearmax initiative to provide nine primary school pupils with hearing aids.”
The commissioner explained that the pilot study involved the screening of 1,131 pupils, adding that the screening provides an evaluation of the sensitivity of their sense of hearing.
“Out of the 1,131 pupils that were screened, 676 pupils had ear wax with foreign impaction while 14 pupils passed the confirmatory tests for varying degrees of hearing loss, and nine of them were suitable for hearing aids. So we are here presenting the hearing aids to the affected pupils following relevant tests and confirmation of suitability”, Abayomi said.
While noting that good eyesight and hearing are essential for the child to achieve full academic potential, Abayomi said it is important for hearing and sight impediments to be diagnosed and corrected early to forestall the negative impact that it may have on the lives of the children.
Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, noted that the Lagos State Government is poised to reduce the incidences and negative impact of hearing loss amongst citizens by promoting advocacy on ear and hearing care access.
Ogboye, who presented the hearing aids to the affected pupils alongside the commissioner, congratulated the beneficiaries and their parents, advising that they take good care of the device.
The Executive Director, Hearmax Initiative, Dr Ibraheem Salako said his organisation is happy to collaborate with the Lagos State Government to provide succor to the nine pupils, adding that the collaboration aligns with the vision of his organisation to “improve lives, one ear at a time”.