Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for aid for the people living with hearing impairment and less privileged people in the society, so as to help them out of the isolation of a silent world and it would inspire them of hearing to become more active members of society, reflect caring with their communities to create a positive effect on their future.
Obasanjo, who was represented by his wife, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, stated this at a training and free ear and hearing aid organized by a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Starkey Hearing Foundation, in conjunction with Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, held at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The former President said that the hope and hearing that comes with a hearing device was to empower the young and old to achieve their human potential and given them the ability to hear has an immediate inspiring impact on a person’s quality of life and a compounding effect on the society at large.
In an opening speech, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, also represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, said that the present administration had prioritized health sector for the over 7.2 million residents of state, saying that it was think-thank approach method the state government adopted in catering for their people.
The governor said that health sector was second cardinal programme of the state government, which the state institutionalized their programme in a way their people would key into it, noting that over 16 thousand people had keyed into the state Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), “Araya” programme in the state.
He added that people need to jettison the habit of attributing ear problem to religion as the two goes in separate ways which has nothing to each others, stressing that many hearing challenges could be solved by medical intervention without relating it to religious aspect of life, calling on federal government attention to the audio logical aspect in order to make life so meaningful to the people.
The Starkey Hearing Foundation Chairman, Dr. Heather Jensen, said over 80 percent people lives in area where there was no access to hearing health professional, which resulted to the increase on people living with hearing challenges and impairment in the country.
he added that hearing loss has a great potential devastating consequences for a person’s physical and mental health, education and employment, saying that it impedes cognitive growth, social integration and quality of life.
“Starkey Hearing Foundation gives the gift of hearing to people in need in the country and around the world, and we believe that hearing is a vehicle to reflect caring and improve the lives of individuals, their families and communities at large”, she said
She added that in recent National survey of hearing impairment and deafness in Nigeria show that approximately 8.5 million (5%) Nigerians have some form of hearing impairment, saying that there was a need for more hearing health epidemiological studies in Nigeria to provide objective estimates of the disease burden.