AS he launched the Men of Mission (MOM) programme in Region Two on Saturday evening, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, announced the resumption of the countrywide distribution of free hearing aids.
During his address to a large gathering of men in the Essequibo Technical Institute (ETI)’s auditorium, he emphasised the importance of testing one’s hearing regularly.
He informed those gathered that the government through his Ministry is now providing free hearing aids to those with hearing issues. He did not state when the distribution started.
At the time, Minister Anthony was speaking about “Lifestyle Medicine”. He explained that persons can prevent many sicknesses and diseases by conducting regular check-ups at the health centres and hospitals.
He said that earlier this year, his ministry had boosted the audiology services being offered and is now offering patients free hearing aids. He said persons had to pay as much as $60,000 to access one.
“I want to reassure …persons living with hearing impairments [that] the ministry will ensure that the aids are now available free of cost,” Minister Anthony said.
He noted that the programme was implemented several years ago, but was stopped.
According to the minister, his ministry has collaborated with several international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and foundations to ensure that the free aids are available.
He said that his ministry has examined a number of options to restore this particular programme so that Guyanese can benefit.
Minister Anthony added that while some people are born with congenital defects that lead to hearing impairments, others can develop these issues at various stages of their lives. As such, he urged persons to get regular check-ups.
“Make it a habit and do your regular check-ups. Check your ears and ensure that everything is going well. The services are provided free of cost,” he added.
He also urged the men in attendance to exercise regularly, and to ensure they practice a healthy lifestyle.
Meanwhile, Regional Health Officer, Dr Ranjeev Singh, said that the Audiology Department at the Suddie Public Hospital is equipped and has the necessary resources to help patients.
He, therefore, echoed Minister Anthony’s call for persons to make use of the services being offered.
Dr. Singh used the opportunity to urge persons to take their infants and young children to the department to have their hearing tested.