Parents urged to care for children's ears

Data from the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital (T.T.M) shows a large number of children are presenting with ear infections. 

The Acting Head of the Ear Nose Throat Division (E.N.T.) within the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.), Dr. Sione Pifeleti, revealed statistics on the infection rate on the occasion of World Hearing Day on March 3. 

Dr. Pifeleti, who is also a general surgeon within the Ministry's E.N.T. Division, said that more awareness on preventative measures of ear infections and hearing loss is important. 

“The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) marks the 3 of March annually as the celebration of World Hearing Day,” he said.

The theme of the campaign for this year under the auspices of the W.H.O. is: "Hearing for Life. Don't let hearing loss limit you".

He added that the celebration is to raise awareness and advocacy programmes on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

“We are hosting an open day where anyone can freely get their ears checked by the doctors we have invited students at Senese and other health workers to take part in.

“I have been in the E.N.T. department for three years and the majority of cases I see in the clinic are ear infections caused by bacteria, viral fungal.

“But it is a preventable cause of hearing loss, in terms of ways to prevent ear infections avoid putting anything into your ears especially earbuds.

“The cases are presented from young ones to the elderly but the children have the high number of cases of ear infections.”

Dr. Pifeleti added that is important for children to have their ears protected against hearing loss because it is used for their development in terms of education.

“I advise everyone not put anything in your ear; use safe sound volume in terms of speakers or listening through earphones or headphones; and with measles the prevention is to immunise children because measles is mainly like flu and it blocks the tube in the ear and make the ear more prone to infection and can also damage the nerve."

Children who were diagnosed with measles should be taken in for a check, due to the impact that the virus can have on their ears. 

“We are following up some cases and also we encourage children that had measles for check-ups," Dr. Pifeleti said. “It is important that we work together with our partners such as the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, Ministry of Education, Sports And Culture.”

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