LAGOS State doctors have recorded the first successful homegrown cochlear implant surgery to restore hearing ability in two deaf patients.
The Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Department at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, conducted the corrective surgery on two patients – a young chap and a Lagos doctor, who had gone deaf in the line of duty.
Director of Clinical Services and Training, LASUTH, Dr. Adedokun Ayoade, at a briefing, said it was yet another time the Lagos tertiary hospital was recording another astounding success, through cochlear implantation by its own indigenous doctors.
Ayoade, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Medical Director, said it was an exercise made possible by efforts of the state Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to bring Nigerian experts in the Diaspora back home for needed skills transfer.
Cochlear implantation is a hearing device implanted into a deaf patient’s ear through surgery. The device converts sounds into impulses, which enables the patients to hear and understand.
The latest feat follows a similar exercise that was conducted at the hospital last year by Cochlear Foundation, University of Freiburg, Germany.
But with a successful repeat of the exercise by local practitioners, Ayoade said it was another feat in the hospital’s quest to provide excellent health for the people of the state through her local indigenous professionals.
According to him, “this mission will no doubt improve self-esteem and build social confidence in patients who as a result of loss of hearing isolate themselves from societal engagements. This, we believe to a very large extent will find a lasting solution to a long lasting problem of deafness and hearing impairment in deaf people,” he said.
LASUTH ENT Surgeon and one of the leading hands in the surgery, Dr. Olawale Olubi noted that the homegrown exercise, which is significantly cost-effective than having it overseas, would open the option of corrective ear surgery to many Nigerians that are having hearing impairments.
An estimate has it that no fewer than 2.8 per cent of Nigerians are either partially or completely deaf.
Apparently excited at the development, Fashola said it was a demonstration that they care about the physically challenged, even as the state government would begin to sponsor the cochlear implant for many Nigerians that are in need of corrective ear surgery.
Fashola, who spoke to a mammoth crowd at the All Progressives Congress (APC) rally held in Badagry area of the state, said: “I start on a happy note. For the first time, we successfully carried out a cochlear implant surgery. What that means is that our doctors in our hospital has restored hearing back to somebody who was deaf.
“Before, you have to travel out of Nigeria before you can get that kind of service, but a Nigerian doctor (Dr. Anthony Owa), came back home at my request, joined LASUTH and working with all our staff. This is the feat that has been performed at home.
“So, it means now that the door is open for a lot of our brothers and sisters, our children who have never heard a sound before, that they would begin to hear because we would expand that project,” he said.
Fashola said the exercise shows the state’s policy to support disabled and physically challenged people.
According to him, “it is about a deep commitment on how people can get on with their lives, if government does what it should do. Those, who are physically challenged are not disabled and they crave for a chance and opportunity to compete and so we have continued to intervene
Nigerian Guardian News