WHO: Nurses - the key drivers to improving access to ear and hearing care in Zambia

5 March, 2020

Dear HIFA and HIFA-Zambia colleagues,

Extract below and a comment from me. Full text here: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/nurses-the-key-driv...


The Ministry of Health of Zambia launched its first-ever National Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) strategic plan, as part of its five-year health plan (2017-2021), in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on prevention of deafness and hearing loss.

While the plan aims to provide equal access to cost effective and high-quality health services for ENT care to communities across the country, the lack of qualified professionals is making this extremely challenging.

With five ENT specialists and one audiologist serving a population of 17 million, it is crucial to develop task-sharing strategies to address the needs of the population.

Nurses from 92 health facilities across Zambia stepped up and underwent two-weeks of training in hearing assessment and ear examinations. Twenty-eight nurses have been trained to-date and are the key drivers in improving access and raising awareness on hearing loss in the country. Over 15 000 people have already been reached with interventions to prevent, identify and address hearing loss through these efforts...

"We provide outreach services to communities who may not know about the various health services we provide including hearing assessments and ear examinations, including those who do not have the means to go to the hospital."


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Comment (Neil PW): A recent systematic review by HIFA member James O'Donovan and colleagues suggests an important role for CHWs also. https://gh.bmj.com/content/4/2/e001141

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA-Zambia profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of HIFA-Zambia and the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org