An expert on Ear, Nose and Throat, ENT, Professor Milan Profant, yesterday said many children born deaf in Nigeria have 95 per cent chance of hearing.
Profant, Head of MED-EL, a visiting medical team from Austria that specialises in bone implant, said this in an interview with NAN in Lagos.
He spoke at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, where his team performed a bone-bridge surgery for children with hearing defects.
Profant said that the hearing defects, whether congenital or accidental, could be corrected through implant surgery which was first carried out successfully in Africa on Dec.18.
“Bone-bridge is the world’s first active bone conduction implant.
“This bone conduction implant enables sound transmission directly to the inner ear by means of bone conduction, ’’ MED-EL said in its online publication.
Profant said that with bone-bridge, many children born with ear defects in Nigeria could have “a 95 per cent chance of hearing whether congenital or accidental.’’
“There is hope for the rehabilitation of children born with ear defects, they are normal people, the only problem is deafness.
“About 90 per cent of children born deaf are by parents who can hear and the parents cannot expect such a problem.
“The hope is that the problem can be solved.
“The cost of implant for Nigerian condition is about 20, 000 dollars (N3.94 million). It is not a price for a single procedure, but all,’’ he said.
Profant said that the surgery carried out in Lagos was successful.
He said that some doctors in Nigeria had been trained to continue with the rehabilitation process after the surgery.
Also speaking, a consultant audiologist to the group, Mr Vangeiwva Barnabas, said that the aim of the organisation was to bring treatment closer to the grassroots.
“It has become imperative to realise that the world is now a global village and there is need for us to partner with developed societies so that our people can benefit from their expertise.
“This can be done without travelling overseas; this brought the idea of the partnership with MED-EL with a team of top experts to share their procedures with us.
“This will reduce cost and make it affordable to most people in the middle class. Everything will be done in-house.
“ The operation at LASUTH is bone implant, it is the first in Nigeria, West Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa, besides South Africa,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Mr Mohammed El Disouky, the Africa Development and Regional Manager of MED-EL, said, “Implant is for those people whose hearing aids are not working, especially children born deaf.’’
In his comments, LASUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adewale Oke, said, “This surgery is the first of its kind.
“I must commend the organisation (MED- EL) that deemed it fit to have the operation done in LASUTH. The organisation came on its own volition.’’ NAN


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