Residents of Bong Benefit Free Ear Treatment and Awareness

By: Matalay Kollie

GBATALA, March 31, 2024: With Funding support from Starkey Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Partners, Church Aid Incorporated has commence ”Free Ear Treatment” and a Campaign to Promote Hearing Healthcare in Gbatala, Lower Bong County.

Church Aid Incorporated is the relief arm of Water in the Desert Apposite Pentecostal Church located in Brewvillie, Monrovia, Liberia.

The Free Ear Treatment, according to Kortu Brown, head Bishop of the Apposite Pentecostal Church, is part of the Church’s Outreach Release Campaign intended to Promote Hearing Healthcare across the fifteen subdivisions of Liberia.

Bishop Brown, in conversation with reporters at the treatment site, asserted that the campaign includes several components ranging from specialized training of over twenty Liberians in Hearing Healthcare out of Liberia, Straining, Testing, and the Treatment of people facing hearing loss or difficulties.

The former Liberian Council of Churches’ President also disclosed that through the support of Starkey Foundation, an American organization, four Liberians were sent to Lusaka in the Gambia to acquire specialized training in the treatment of ear complications, adding that the four individuals are currently in the country treating people with ear problems.

Bishop Brown asserted that the exercise is free of charge, adding that only five hundred Liberian Dollars is collected from each patient as registration fees.

Moreover, Bishop Brown told reporters that over the past two months, the team of ear specialists has strained and tested a little over one thousand Liberians, citing that about hundred fifty people of said number suffer from hearing loss as a result of Imparted Ear Waxx, Ear Infections, and the drop of Objects in the ear amongst others.

He named, Montserrado, Bomi, Margibi, and Bong as counties that have so far benefited from the initiative, with a promise of reaching out to the fifteen subdivisions of Liberia. The free treatment targets Children, Youths, and Old Folks.

Bishop Brown also revealed that the team of ear specialists, through Church Aid Incorporated, has over the past two months distributed Hearing Aid instruments to people who have completely lost their sense of hearing at the cost of twenty-five United States Dollars (USD 25.00).

According to him, the Hearing Aid instrument helps restore the sense of hearing to individuals facing hearing loss, adding that the instrument costs a little more than one Thousand United States Dollars in Lusaka, Zambia.

At the same time, Bishop Brown has encouraged residents of Bong County to take advantage of the free ear treatment, adding that the team will in the coming days head to Nimba and Southeastern Counties upon the expiration of their stay in Bong.

Interestingly, Bishop added that four Liberians are currently obtaining specialized training in ear treatment in the Gambia, and hopefully by next month, those specialists will be in the country to join the team in providing treatment for Liberians suffering from hearing loss. He said upon the return of the four ear specialists, they will be assigned to government hospitals in regional counties including C.B Dunbar Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest estimates suggest that the prevalence of hearing impairment (defined as Hearing loss gathered than 35 dB) for adults above age 15 years old was 15.7% in sub-Saharan Africa vs. 4.9% in high-income countries. For children aged between 5 and 14 years, the prevalence was estimated at 1.9% in sub-Saharan Africa.

For their part, beneficiaries of the Free Ear Treatment in Gbatala, Bong County expressed excitement in Church Aid Incorporated for taking on this initiative, thus appreciating officials of the organization for considering Bong as a benefiting county.

Zouwron Patuah, a resident of Phebe Airstrip Community, upon receiving the Hearing Aid instrument had a frank conversation with reporters, disclosing that she has over many years experienced deafness in her left ear, but upon the installation of the Hearing Aid instrument, she immediately began hearing clearly through that particular ear. The Hearing Aid is a Bluetooth-like instrument installed on the ear facing hearing loss.

Fifteen persons have so far been tested for the Free Ear Treatment in Gbatala with eleven benefiting from the free treatment and three advised to purchase the Hearing Aid instrument if their lost senses of hearing are to be restored.

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