By Nelson Manneh
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Isatou Touray on Thursday, 20 September, 2018 inaugurated a ten man ear care and hearing health Technical Working Group at a local Hotel in Bijilo.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation is spearheading the Ear Care and Hearing Health Project in The Gambia.
The objective of the Project according to stakeholders is to establish National level priorities for the integration of Ear Care and hearing health in The Gambia and Health Care System by December 2018.
They also aim to support the implementation of key ear care priorities in The Gambia through a formal partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Technical Working Group, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Isatou Touray described the inauguration as timely and tasked members to work towards achieving the target of the project and develop the Gambia National Strategic plan for ear care and hearing health which is part of the terms of Reference for the Technical Working Group.
“Institutionalization of ear care and hearing health into the mainstream health care system faces several challenges which among them includes lack of national policy on ear care and hearing health. Lack of legal framework for practice of ear care and hearing health and also the lack of ethical guidelines for practice of ear care and hearing,” she said.
She pointed out that improving access to education and vocational rehabilitation services and raising awareness especially among the employers will greatly help.
She assured the Starkey Hearing Foundation of her Ministry’s support towards the successful implementation of the project in The Gambia.
For his part Dr. Lukeman of the Starkey Hearing Foundation said the Technical Working Group will engage key stakeholders where necessary to address issues and concerns relating Ear Health in The Country, develop a National Ear Health Strategic Plan and also popularize ear health in The Gambia, among others.
He also thanked the Ministry of Health for their commitment towards the project and Dr. Samba Ceesay Deputy Director of Health Service for the good work he is doing to ensure that the project becomes a success in The Gambia.