By Clementina Njang Yong
The Project Manager (PM) of the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program of the CBC Health Services Mr. Awa Jacque Chirac has commended women in their efforts to champion Ear and Hearing Care in their communities. He made this remark during the close of a three day workshop to capacitate Nurses on Primary Ear and Hearing Care. The training from December 2-4, 2021 took place at the Baptist Center, Nkwen in Bamenda.
The Primary Ear and Care Project that started in Bamenda, is an initiative to render quality services where there are limited number of Surgeons and Specialized Nurses in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) domain in Cameroon where the ratio is so disproportionate. To salvage this situation, access to Primary Ear and Hearing Care is vital in order to reduce the burden of care in the secondary and tertiary levels. Besides gaining new knowledge to do their work, the training empowered the Nurses with the skills to refer cases that are beyond their competence to the appropriate levels of care. Participants during the training gained knowledge on the EHC Project: Objectives and Expectations; Introduction to the Ear and Hearing Care; Presentation of the Ear: Anatomy and Physiology; Ear Complaints: Presentation; Ear Complaint: Causes, signs and Symptoms; Providing Ear care services in the context of COVID-19; Prevention of Ear Diseases and Hearing Loss; Diagnosing, Treatment and Referral; Inclusive Health Care; General Application: Otoscopy, Aural toileting, wicking, moping; EHC Equipment: Practical Guide on usage and Management; Safeguarding; Health Promotion and awareness raising for EHC; Tracking documenting and reporting success among others.
It is worth noting that the project will give treatment subsidies to patients who are unable to fully cater for their health needs in Ear and Hearing Care. According to Mr. Awa Chirac, poverty will not be a barrier for people in the communities to access Ear and Hearing Care services. The Nurses were cautioned to refer all cases beyond their level of competency for treatment after a thorough assessment. It is hoped that the learning of the pilot Primary Ear and Hearing Care will be scaled up to other regions in Cameroon. Thus, investment of the CBC Health Services in this initial training will greatly help when the project is rolled out to other parts of the country. For this reason, those trained are required to utilize the knowledge gained in order to remain useful when need arises in the future when they would possibly become Trainers on the field in all competence and experience. Participants left the training with some basic equipment to set up clinics in their respective facilities. Beginning January 2022, there shall be facility-level orientations to be done though outreach programs in different communities. Participants left the training attesting to knowledge gained. “It was quite an educative Course on the Ear and Hearing Care. Knowledge on the Ear Anatomy was very useful, in addition to basic ear procedures. The training will improve on my skills as a Screener”. Mbukebam Mary.
“I have learned how COVID-9 can be acquired though the ear, how to render inclusive health care, the importance of referring cases that I cannot handle etc. All what I have learned will benefit the people in serve in the community” – Participant. “I have learned how to perform Syringing which is a method of removing impacted wax from the ear to aid hearing. This will help my work in the community where specialty services are limited” Mbanui Amos Tah.