The West Africa Post-Graduate College of Surgeons has selected Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), as the regional centre for the training of doctors on cochlear implants.
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged part of the inner ear to provide sound signals to the brain.
Unlike hearing aids cochlear implants restore the lost activity of the affected part and naturally removes the impairment so as to restore hearing capacity .
JUTH’s Chief Medical Director Dr. Edmund Banwat, who announced this said that a team from the College will soon visit the hospital’s temporal bone dissection centre, for final inspection and accreditation.
“After inspecting the facilities and the laboratory, the College will give the final accreditation and the training of physicians on cochlear will commence,” he said.
Banwat spoke at the beginning of a two-day temporal bone dissection course in the hospital, where twelve doctors are participating in the training.
The training is being undertaken by Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute, Jacksonville, Florida, USA and is led by the institute’s director, Dr. James Douglas Green.
Banwat said that after JUTH’s accreditation as a regional training centre, its temporal bone dissection centre will be used to train surgeons and ensure more specialist in cochlear implants.
“So, in the next few months, JUTH will serve as the hub for the training of West African surgeons on ear issues; it means we shall have more people trained to restore hearing to our deaf people,” he said.
He also added that the impact on health care will be massive as the rising number of human resources will reduce medical tourism and check capital flight.
“People, who used to travel abroad on medical tourism, will now be able to access such services in JUTH.
If the surgery is perfected in Nigeria, more deaf people will be saved from that impairment,” he stated.
He said the training of the 12 doctors will involve a practical session, where a surgery operation will be carried out on a hearing-impaired patient.
Banwat thanked Jacksonville Institute for donating the facilities for the cochlear implants last year, and noted that the partners will be replicating themselves through young doctors that can perform the surgery.
Earlier in his remarks, Dr. Adeyi Adoga, Head of Department, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), of JUTH, had said that the 2-day course will take the young ENT specialists through all processes of temporal bone dissection.
“The course is the first of its kind in JUTH; the aim is to have more personnel able to work on the deaf, so that they will hear again.
We are committed to bringing succor to the deaf and shall continue to work toward easing access to such services in Nigeria,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Samuel Adoga, Consultant on ENT to JUTH, said that the implant planned for the day will be the 15th in Jos town, but the first in JUTH, and expressed optimism that it will be a success.
Khadijat, the candidate for the cochlear implant said that her hearing problem started five years ago.
“I use to hear very well, but I lost it five years ago, after an asthmatic attack,” she said.