Madam Eunice Osei-Owusu, a Nurse at the Kwesimintsim Government Hospital in the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipality (EKMA) of the Western Region has made a clarion call on the Government to make available test kits for ear testing to enable Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) Nurses conduct tests especially, at the pregnancy stage.
She added that the Government should also invest in cost effective interventions that will benefit people with hearing loss and bring financial gains to the society, and integrate person-centered ear and hearing care within national health plans for universal health coverage.
She also called on the City Authorities to see to it that bye-laws on noise making were enforced effectively while new digital Sound Level Metres (SLMs) be provided to the Public Health Department of the Assembly to assess noise levels in the Metropolis.
Madam Osei-Owusu who doubles as a Member of the Western Regional ENT Nurses Group made this known in an interview with Spice News to mark this year’s World Hearing Day.
She observed that the issue of noise pollution was a serious concern, especially in residential areas and the Central Business District (CBD) hence the need to equip Environmental Health Officers with the necessary tools to enforce the permissible ambient noise for the aforementioned areas.
The bye-law provides that no person shall play recorded music in public, and that no proprietor of night club, restaurant, drinking bar or other place of refreshment, shall play any music so loudly as to cause disturbance or nuisance to residents in the area.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also pegged permissible ambient noise levels in residential areas at 55 decibels (dB) during the day and 48 dB at night, for educational and health facilities it’s 55 dB during the day and 50 dB at night, while the noise level for areas with commercial or light industrial activities has been 60 dB and 55 dB during the day and night respectively.
Madam Judith Agyeiwaa Donkor, National 2nd Vice-Chairperson of the ENT Nurses Group and Western Regional Secretary of the Group who highlighted on the celebration said the Day is observed to raise awareness about how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and aims at promoting public health actions for ear and hearing care.
She stressed that the Day is observed to highlight and spread the message that timely and effective care can help people with hearing loss to achieve full potential adding, “This occasion is to spread awareness about action that can be taken to protect the auditory nerves and adopt preventive measures”.
She pointed out that good ear care practices and immunization while hearing loss can be addressed when it is identified in a timely manner and appropriate care sought.
Madam Agyeiwaa therefore urged those at risk of hearing loss to check their hearing regularly while people having hearing loss (or related ear diseases) should seek care from a health care provider.
For her part, Madam Efua Adutwumwaa Oppong, a Member of the Group at the Takoradi Hospital argued that good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life, while hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be avoided through preventative actions such as protection against loud sounds.
She noted that those who have hearing loss can get access to good education, employment, and communication with appropriate and timely interventions.
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