Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

LASUTH, MED-EL partner to curb hearing impairment

In order to curb the high rate of hearing defects in Nigeria, an Austrian-based medical expert, Mohamed El Disouky, has said his company, Medical Electronics, MED-EL, is partnering the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, to train medical personnel on cochlear implant. 

Briefing journalists in Lagos, Disouky said cochlear implant is an electronic device which changes the quality of life of an individual from not hearing, speaking to hearing and speaking.

According to him, the device is normal, hence it makes children go to normal school, adding that the device has a 10 year warranty but not ruling out occurrence of failure, assuring that if there are no failures after the first three years, then such eventuality will not occur.

He stated, “I have being in this for 22 years and can say that MED-EL's device has the lowest failure rate in the country. The reliability figure is measured by how many of the device is returned after five years and the survival rate is 99.8 percent which is the highest in the whole industry.”

He said Africa is lagging behind in Otology specialists involving the ear, nose and throat, stating that, “in the continent, we have one ENT doctor to millions of patients, we are training and ready to train more bright surgeons in that field who in turn will train other otolaryngologists to become otologists, then the scourge can be defeated.

"Training Africans is not that hard but needs special efforts. We are also teaching the medical personnel to serve patients. There is no meaning giving an implant to a patient that is not motivated even if he hears very well after the surgery, he still needs a psychological support to progress further.

“Our targets are; to start batches of surgeries to show the government the efficacy that cochlear implant works and resolving the problem for the hearing impaired.

A surgical assistant and otologist from Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Audu Modu, who also participated in three successful surgeries, said he has had such training in America, adding that it is a good beginning for Nigeria.

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