Ghana like several other United Nations member states will observe Tuesday, March 3, 2020, as World Hearing Day but this only brings to light the several challenges facing the course.
The theme for this yearâ€™s commemoration, â€˜Donâ€™t Let Hearing Loss Limit you: Hearing for Lifeâ€™ is aimed at raising more awareness about the human ear and its related issues.
However, according to the World Health Organisation, the key message is that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb, the Deputy Chief Audiologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Jemima Fynn said the advocacy over the years about ear impairment has been side-lined not only by policymakers but also by individuals.
She said hearing impairment, unlike other disabilities, is hidden and is most likely to be undiscovered by persons suffering it, thus the reason its advocacy has been relegated to the background.
Dr Fynn said, â€œâ€¦it is a day that is put aside for ear care and hearing advocacy because it was realized that generally over the world, ear care is something that is lacking support and in terms of education on how to care for the ear, interventions available, early identificationâ€¦â€
Recounting the several strives theyâ€™ve made in reaching out to Ghanaians with advocacy programmes, she noted â€œweâ€™ve taken this on for about five years now and over the years weâ€™ve done it through our own effortâ€¦but in terms of government as a whole or a policy-making body, the support is not convincing or helpful.â€
Even though an agreement has been struck between government of Ghana and the WHO, Dr Fynn says government and its agencies have failed to support the institutionalizing of ear care advocacies.
â€œâ€¦about a year or so back, we tried putting up an ear care policy which is not available in the country yet, even though WHO countries signed resolutions to develop this policy for every country weâ€™ve not had the support for this policy to come into place.â€
Until the policy is properly institutionalized and proper attention given, persons suffering from hearing impairment are left to cover their own cost, which according to Dr Fynn is quite expensive.
Sophisticated technologies for treating hearing impairment remain unavailable across the country.