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 (cochlear), to provide sound signals to the brain.
Unlike hearing aids, which make the sounds louder, cochlear implants restore the lost activity of the affected part and naturally remove the impairment so as to restore the capacity to hear. JUTH’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Edmund Banwat, who announced this on Friday in Jos, said that a team from the College would 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.
The News Agency of Niger (NAN), reports that Banwat spoke at the beginning of a two-day temporal bone dissection course in the hospital.
Twelve doctors are participating in the training that is being undertaken by Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
The team 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 would 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.
Banwat said that the impact on health care would be massive as the rising number of human resources would 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 said.
He said that the training of the 12 doctors would involve a practical session, where a surgery operation would be carried out on a hearing-impaired patient, 36-year-old Khadijat Jibrin, a student of health records.
Banwat thanked the Jacksonville Institute for donating the facilities for the cochlear implants last year, and noted that the partners, by coming to train others, were replicating themselves through young doctors that could 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 would 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 succour 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 (Friday), would be the 15th in Jos town, but the first in JUTH, and expressed optimism that it would be a success. Khadijat, the candidate for the cochlear implant, who spoke with NAN, said that her hearing problem started five years ago. “I used to hear very well, but I lost it five years ago, after an asthmatic attack,” she said.