…6 year old boy,46 year old woman regain hearing
…Our success will reduce medical tourism – NECC CMD
By ibrahim HassanWuyo
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the National Ear Care Centre (NECC), Dr Mustapha Abubakar-Yaro has said that the centre in collaboration with Med-El, a hearing implant company from Egypt had conducted two successful cochlear implant surgery for deaf and dumb in Kaduna.
Dr. Yaro said the patients operated on were a six years old boy and 46 year old woman who had totally lost hearing.
Speaking to Journalists in Kaduna, Dr. Yaro said the Centre initially made provision for the surgery for four patients but did only two and shifted the others to another date.
He said that one of the treatment for profound or total hearing loss was the cochlear implant surgery which restored hearing.
The CMD explained that despite the multimodality approach of the cochlear implant surgery, the Centre had all the equipments and personnel who were trained.
“We have the audiologists, surgeons, speech rehabilitation experts and also a collaboration with the Med-El group from Egypt to provide the implant and technical assistance to enable us have successful implant programme.
“We also have specialists that after the implant, they can do the speech therapy, rehabilitation and monitor the device.We want to stand as a centre of excellence for cochlear implant programme so that we can provide hope for deaf Nigerians”, he said.
The CMD stated that the Centre would provide conducive environment for the programme to succeed and also make their reports available to the minister of health to enable the government assist especially in providing the implant.
He stressed that the Centre would collaborates with the National Health Insurance Scheme and Non Governmental Organisations in order to support the programme.
“The cochlear device is not manufactured in Nigeria and it is quite expensive, we cannot provide it for free but the government, NGO’s and NHIS are part of the advocacy we want to make after the programme so that it can be made available for Nigerians.
According to the CMD, the cochlear implant would reduce medical tourism.
“Cochlear implant is something Nigerians had to go abroad to have it done, now we are bringing it to their door steps “, he said.
“We are happy for commencing the cochlear implant programme and its a programme for the country, we seek for the support and cooperation of all meaning Nigerians for it to be a success.
“We also appreciate the Med-El group for making it possible for us and providing training for our local doctors which is going to be a continuous thing, we will also support them for the benefit of Nigerians”, the CMD said.
Also speaking, Engr. Muhammad El-Disouky, development regional manager, Med-El medical, Austria, expressed joy over taken the step on the National cochlear implant programme.
“We have been doing cochlear implant surgeries in Nigeria for quite some times but it was not on a national level, doing it here in the NECC will be a national cochlear implant programme.
El-Disouky said the cochlear implant device is the only known device to restore hearing for the profound and total hearing loss for patients.
He thanked the CMD for inviting many surgeons and clinicians who attended their training courses for the success of subsequent cochlear implant surgeries.
In his address, Professor Ahmed Mehanna, a professor of cochlear implant, from University of Alexandria, Egypt also expressed his gratitude to the personnel in NECC and Med-el Africa group.
He said that there is need for implementation of ‘hearing screening programme’ to recruit more cases.
“You have excellent audiologist, excellent speech pathologist, we hope everything will be good and we are looking forward to come again”, Mehanna said.