The minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has said that Nigerians, who have various ear and hearing diseases, have increased from 7.3 million to 8.5 million in about a decade.
Adewole stated this at the launching of the National Policy and Strategic Plan for Ear and Hearing Care in Nigeria, in Abuja.
According to him, a World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics reveals that ear diseases and hearing loss is prevalent globally and low and middle income countries account for about 80 per cent of hearing loss disease burden in the world.
“Furthermore, the global prevalence of disabling hearing loss is estimated to have increased from 360 million to 466 million and in Nigeria we believe it have increased from 7.3 million to 8.5 million in about a decade,” he said.
The minister further said that the physical, social and economic impact of hearing loss on individuals, families and nations, have been about $46 to $130 billion to untreated hearing loss annually, according to the WHO report.
According to him, Ear and Hearing Care (EHC) is therefore a global burden that requires attention worldwide. But at the moment, Nigeria neither has EHC policy guideline on strategic plan to guide the activities of ear diseases and hearing loss to stem the tide in increasing prevalence, and to drastically reduce the incidence and impact of the diseases in Nigeria.
He however urged all relevant stakeholders to participate in the implementation of the strategic plan, and translate the document into concrete actions that will impact on all Nigerians so that everybody can move towards achieving our vision of healthy ears and hearing for every Nigerian.