By MILDRED KATONGO –
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has said the Ministry of Health will soon launch Zambia’s national Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) strategic plan to address existing gaps in the sector, especially through training.
Ms Lungu said the Government had developed an ENT strategic plan that fed into the national health plan.
The First Lady was speaking at the Starkey Hearing Foundation annual founders’ club meeting panel discussion, which was moderated by former United States (US) President George Bush’s daughter, Barbara, dubbed ‘Passion plus purpose equals impact’.
This is contained in a statement made available by first secretary for Press and public relations in Washington DC Cosmas Chileshe.
Ms Lungu also commended Starkey Hearing Foundation in Minneapolis, USA, for establishing the first-ever hearing institute in Zambia.
She said that the presence of Starkey Hearing Foundation in Zambia had increased the number of specialists in audiology in the country.
“With the establishment of the only hearing institute in Zambia, more awareness has been created,” Ms Lungu said.
“There has been tremendous improvement in the conditions of people with hearing loss as they are able to receive hearing aids and screening services.”
The First Lady disclosed that Baldwin Wallace University had offered scholarships to Zambians to study ENT programmes in the USA due to the presence of the hearing foundation in the country.
“Since 2015 Starkey has impacted over 3,000 people and fitted more than 1,200 hearing aids in Zambia,” Ms Lungu said. “Their motive is very genuine and that is why I feel deeply indebted to support their work in my country.”
The First Lady said she would continue to use her office as a critical link between Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Government through the Ministry of Health.
Other panelists were First Lady of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana Sandra Granger, co-founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation Tani Austin, President of International Federation for Peace and
Sustainable Development and Minister of Labour and Social Security of Jamaica Shahine Robinson.