Free hearing aids, correcting club foot without surgery for persons with disabilities

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The Ministry of Health is now providing hearing aids free of charge and is also now offering a non-surgical remedy to fix club foot in children.

This is according to Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony. On Friday, during his daily Health Update, he spoke about interventions to help persons with disabilities.

He said the Ministry has sought to expand access to rehabilitation services in all the regions and also provide assisted devices for those who need them.

“We have expended a lot of resources to acquire assisted devices, these include hearing aids, spectacles, walking canes, wheelchairs and so forth to help those with physical disability,” Dr Anthony stated.

Regarding hearing aids, the Ministry of Health previously charged $65,000 for those who needed a hearing aid, providing these at the cost they were bought.

As of this year, however, the cost was removed. This year alone, Dr Anthony said 500 hearing aids have been distributed free of cost.

The Ministry has also started a new programme to distribute spectacles. This year, Dr Anthony said the Ministry catered for the provision of 4, 500 spectacles; 597 has so far been distributed.

About the hearing and sight programmes, he said professionals first ensure people are properly tested and diagnosed and are provided with the aids if these are required.

Dr Anthony said that “a lot of hinterland communities” are being targeted for these interventions.

For young children who are diagnosed with club foot, he said that this can be corrected by a non-surgical intervention if the staff is properly trained.

They can use “plaster of paris” to make the correction, Dr Anthony stated.

“A lot of physicians from different parts of country have undergone that kind of training,” Dr Anthony said, noting that the correction can be done in the regions where they are diagnosed.

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