Annet Siima, the principal education officer in department of special needs at the Ministry said the exercise saw 2,101 children from different schools in the central region including; Luwero, Nakasongola, Gomba, Jinja, Mityana among others receiving hearing aids.
|Ministry of Education and Sports has flagged off the second phase of the Program that will see learners with hearing impairments receive treatment and hearing aids.|
The program was flagged off on Monday at Lake Victoria Primary school in Entebbe municipality and expected to rolls out to other parts of the country targeting vulnerable children. It is being implemented by the Education and Sports Ministry in partnership with the Starkey hearing foundation in the United States.
The first phase of the program was launched in August this year. At least 7000 people received hearing aids in the first phase. Speaking at Lake Victoria Primary school in Entebbe on Monday, Negris Onen, the Commissioner Special Needs Ministry of Education, said the exercise fulfills the objective of inclusive education, which the ministry is trying to formulate into a policy.
"We're together striving to help such children get aid. We strive to have a community free of impairment that can be cured," said Onen while representing the State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Sseninde.
Annet Siima, the Principal Education Officer in the Department of Special Needs in the Ministry of Education, says the exercise saw 2101 children from different schools in Luwero, Nakasongola, Gomba, Jinja and Mityana benefit. According to Siima, although the ministry lacks statistics on the number of children with hearing impairments, they estimate the number to be around 9000.
Dr. Kaitesi Mukara, the International Development Director-Africa under Starkey Hearing Foundation, put the number of people suffering from hearing impairments at 466 million globally, out of whom, five per cent are children.
"Hearing impairments are caused by several reasons including, accidents, too much wax in the ears, infections such as meningitis among other factors," noted Dr. Kaitesi. Adding that, "treatment depends on the cause for the impairment. She noted that 52 out of the 266 children examined on Friday had compacted wax in their ears.
"After, we cleaned that wax they were able to hear again," she said. The recipients of the hearing aids have to undergo lessons so as to learn how to speak in Luganda and English since they couldn't listen and understand the languages. Commissioner Onen said the Ministry will start teaching children with the hearing aids how to read and write.