The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital will soon begin cochlear implants service to assist people with profound hearing loss to regain the ability to hear and speak.
The project is being planned by the Hospital and Med-El, a medical electronics company headquartered in Austria.
In line with this plan, the Hospital has initiated newborn screening to identify babies with hearing disabilities so that the defects could be corrected in time for the normal development of these babies.
This was disclosed when a team from Med-EL met with the Chief Executive of Korle Bu and his management as well as the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) consultants of the Hospital.
The Ag. CEO, Dr. Felix Anyah said the introduction of this new service is in line with the Hospital’s plan of introducing medical tourism. He said when the procedure is finally introduced it will be available not only to Ghanaians but patients from neighbouring countries such as Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cote d’voire, Burkina Faso, among others.
The Africa Development & Regional Manager of Med-El, Mr. Mohammed EL Disouky said they will support KBTH in the development of the requisite infrastructure and equipment for the service.
The CEO called on the government and tax authorities to review the high rate of tax that is slapped on hearing aids and that has contributed in making the price of the implant expensive and out of reach of patients.
He said it is important for the tax regime to be reviewed so that the service can be afforded for our patients.
Prof. E.D. Kitcher, an ENT consultant, said the introduction of the Cochlear implants service will help a lot of Ghanaians who are currently unable to hear to overcome that disability.
He noted that about 10% of the Ghanaian population suffer from one hearing disability or another. He called for the support of all stakeholders to enable the Hospital successfully introduce the service.