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Marry us, we are marriage materials, women with hearing problems cry out

by Akeem Adeyemi
Marry us, we are marriage materials, women with hearing problems cry out

As the world marks this year’s “World hearing day” with the theme “hearing loss and hidden handicap” women with hearing impairment in Niger state have cried out to men to come out and marry them because they are marriage materials.

The event put together by the Women Advocate for Gender Solutions and Mentorship WAGS-M in collaboration with the World Health Organization ( WHO) was tagged “changing mindsets” “let’s make ear and hearing care a reality for all” and attracted many people with hearing impairment within the state.

Alhaja Salamatu Hammed, who spoke on behalf of other women, advised the citizens not to neglect the deaf women saying that “we are marriage materials” like any other woman.

She therefore called on all able-bodied men to feel free to approach any deaf woman for marriage, adding “We are like all able-bodied women who gave birth to complete and able people.

Hajia Hameed equally called on all tiers of government to employ interpreters at all public health institutions in the state to enable people with hearing problems to have access to health care.

According to Hajia Salamatu, she was not born a deaf child, but had hearing problems after an operation during delivery which affected her voice, she can hear but lost her voice as a result of the operation carried out on her to bring out her baby

None of her children have a hearing problem, confirming that those women with hearing impairment can still give birth to normal children.

In his presentation, an expert in Audiology, Dr. Sidi Maku, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Ministry of Health and Hospital Services, Niger state, lamented the neglect of persons with hearing problems in the country.

He said the numbers of people are few but neglected, praying that God will grant succors to those with hearing impairment.

According to Dr. Maku, “You may not appreciate it until you see someone who can not hear, so that is why we are here to celebrate it. The deaf may not know anything happening around them”

He warned that hearing impairment can be abused through music which may result in hearing problems, also slapping children at the ears at a tender age can cause the same problem.

Using Feathers, and cotton board to clean the ears when scratched may lead to it as well through heredity from someone’s parents.

Going down memory lane the ear experts noted that you may see deaf parents giving birth to children without hearing problems.

Dr. Maku, who was a former Commissioner for Health in the state revealed that the state has only three active audiologists for its ‘Ear_Noise_Throat ( ENT) Clinic.

He added that all the Three Surgeons are based in the state capital whereas other big cities within the state are left out.

According to him, over 270 million people suffer from hearing impairment globally as a result of neglect, adding that Nigeria has only 176 surgeons of “ENT”.

He further revealed that the whole of North has one ENT clinic, just as the country has three such centers based in Enugu, Aba, and Kaduna.

The problem of manpower required to seek donations from corporate bodies as well as spirited individuals to come to the aid of persons with hearing problems.

To purchase a hearing aid he said costs between N300,000 and #30 million or complete hearing aids for one person.

At the event, free screening exercises for ENT people and drugs were given out by the organizers.

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