Author Archives: handefworld
Over 10 million Nigerians are deaf or hard of hearing. As adults, they suffer discrimination and social exclusion because of difficulties communicating; as children, 90 per cent are excluded from school for the same reason. British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL), used in Nigerian schools for the deaf, fail to meet the local language needs of the deaf. Local signs are widely in use and more reflective of Nigerian society, but these are routinely ignored.
The Nigerian Sign Language Project seeks to nurture the emergence of a Nigerian Sign Language (NSL) out of the signs and gestures used by deaf Nigerians themselves. As well as offering new educational practices in schools, training and support will also be provided to families with deaf children.
Building the dictionary One hundred and twenty profoundly deaf Nigerians aged 5–60 (90 adults and 30 school age children) from different ethnic, cultural and regional groups in Nigeria were recruited for the project. The adults had no knowledge of a conventional sign language, and used local signing to communicate. The aim was to gather these signs for compilation into a dictionary.
Four hundred signs were gathered under the following headings: Pronouns, Home, Family, Verbs, Parts of the Body, Food, Animals and Time. A manual alphabet for deaf school beginners and signs for numbers 1–1000 were also created. This was followed by gradual incorporation of the signs into classroom instruction. Results of the evaluation indicated higher achievement levels in children in the group using these signs compared with those using ASL.
International collaboration Phase 2 will bring together specialists and resources from Nigeria, the West African sub-region and the UK to expand the scope of the Nigerian Sign Language Project and promote collaboration with interest groups, end users of the language and schools. The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf has a key role in data collection and dissemination. Other partners include the Foundation for Special Needs Education and Welfare in Nigeria, The University of Calabar, The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education, and the Deafness, Cognition & Language Research Centre (DCAL), University College London.
With the Principal Investigator based in Nigeria, the project is managed locally to ensure direct benefit for the deaf community and for deaf children, youth and adults, as well as for their families. A system of self-evaluation is built into the project. The project will also seek to support similar initiatives in West Africa.
If you have not had many interactions with persons with disabilities, you may not know exactly how to act. For example, you may ask yourself “how do I talk to someone in a wheelchair?” or “how do I interact with someone who is blind or deaf?” This article provides some guidelines to ensure respectful and equal treatment of people with disabilities.
Things to remember
- Individuals with disabilities are people!
- Individuals with disabilities are whole people!
- They expect to be treated with the same dignity and respect that you do.
- Just because someone has a disability does not mean he/she is disabled.
- Remember, he/she is a person, NOT a disability.
- Never patronize them by patting them on the head or back.
- Offer to shake their hand, even if it appears as if they have limited use of their arms or have an artificial limb. Simply the gesture will help them feel accepted and create a warmer environment for communication.
- For those who cannot shake hands, lightly touch the individual on the shoulder or arm to welcome their presence.
- Look at and speak directly to the person, not through a companion, care-taker, or interpreter.
- Treat adults as adults.
- Don’t apologize if you use an expression such as “I gotta run” or “See you later” that relates to the person’s disability. These expressions are part of everyday language and it is likely the apology will be more offensive than the expression.
- Don’t pet or feed service animals or guide dogs as they are working.
- When giving directions, make sure you consider things such as the weather, locations of ramps/curb-cuts, and other physical obstacles that may hinder travel for individuals with disabilities.
Speech Disability Etiquette
- Never assume….many people mistakenly identify these individuals as being mentally retarded or mentally ill. Make sure to be patient in finding out which communication method works best for them.
- Be 100 percent attentive when conversing with an individual who has difficulty speaking.
- If you are in a noisy and/or crowded environment, don’t panic. Just try and move to a quieter location to talk.
- Let them complete their own sentences. Be patient and do not try to speak for them. Do not pretend to understand; instead, tell them what you do understand and allow them to respond.
- Do not be corrective, but rather, encouraging.
- When necessary, it’s OK to ask short questions that require short answers.
- Things to Remember
- Individual who use wheelchairs may require different degrees of assistance.
- Some who use wheelchairs may also use canes or other assistive devices and may not need his/her wheelchair all the time.
- Do not automatically assist the individual without permission. It is ok to offer assistance. However, if the offer is not accepted, respect his/her request!
- If you will be speaking with an individual in a wheelchair for more than a couple minutes, find a place where you can sit down to give the individual a more comfortable viewing angle.
- A person’s wheelchair is part of his/her own personal space. Never move, lean on, rock, or touch his/her wheelchair without permission. In addition to being rude, it can be dangerous.
- Do not assume that having to use a wheelchair is a tragedy. Wheelchairs can be a means of freedom to fully engage in life.
Hearing Disability Etiquette
- Do not shout at a hearing impaired person unless they request you to. Just speak in a normal tone but make sure your lips are visible.
- Keep conversations clear and find a quiet location to communicate.
- If you are asked to repeat yourself, answering “nothing, it’s not important” implies the person is not worth repeating yourself for. It is demeaning; be patient and comply.
- Show consideration by facing the light source and keeping things (such as cigarettes or your hands) away from you mouth while speaking.
Visual Disability Etiquette
- When meeting someone with a visual disability, identify yourself and others with you (e.g. “Jane is on my left and Jack is on my right.”). Continue to identify the person with whom you are speaking.
- If you go out to dinner with an acquaintance with a visual disability, ask if you can describe what is on the menu and what is on his/her plate.
- When walking with someone with a visual impairment, offer them your arm for guidance. They will likely keep a half-step behind to anticipate curbs and steps.
(Taken from the University of Northern Iowa’s Office of Compliance and Equity Management)
Couples with disabilities: 5 love stories to celebrate
Reading about couples with disabilities who marry makes me happy, because I get a rush of hope for Max’s romantic future. I can already tell he’s going to be a ladies’ man by the way he flirts with the waitress at the local diner who serves him mac ‘n cheese. Although maybe it’s the mac ‘n cheese. Either way, I have dreams of Max someday finding happiness in love, as he’s found happiness in so much in life. (And hopefully she’ll know how to make great mac ‘n cheese.)
These are a few great love stories about couples with disabilities I’ve read around the web. Check them out, and have some tissues handy.
Bill Ott, 38, and Shelley Belgard, 36, met at a local social club in Maryland when he was 12 and she was 15. He has Down syndrome and she has intellectual disability, as Ellen McCarthy tells it in her beautiful article for The Washington Post. “I didn’t know what love was until I met her,” Bill said. He took Shelley to his junior and senior prom, then they lost touch after high school. They reconnected when both signed up for a Caribbean cruise for people with disabilities. They married in September; for their first dance, they chose At Last.
As kids, Lindsey and Nick played together on a Little League Challengers team for kids with special needs; Lindsey has intellectual disability, Nick has Dubowitz syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. They started going out in 2005. “She is a caring, sweet young woman,” her mother says. “She once told me, ‘Mom, I don’t want the same things out of life as you do. I just want to be loved.'” Last spring, Lindsey texted Nick and asked if he’d marry her; they wed last October. “As parents, we hope Lindsey and Nick will keep each other company,” Linda wrote on her blog, Out One Ear. “Together, we hope they gain confidence, make wiser (and more independent) ‘couple’ decisions…. And when all this parental support is gone, they will still have each other. We hope they grow old together.” Linda’s asking people to send the couple valentines—find out more about her effort here.
A couple with cerebral palsy wed in Israel. If you haven’t yet seen the video, you want to.
Nicole Brobeck, who has cerebral palsy, and Curtis Braxton, who has hydrocephalus and a seizure disorder, met at a living skills program in 2007 in Northern California. “I love Nicole because she’s so happy and she doesn’t let her disability get to her, get her down,” he told Today. They got engaged last Valentine’s Day, and planned to marry in May. After Nicole’s dad died, however, her mother had major medical bills and not much money for a wedding. An organization that was going to throw them a wedding backed out. Then a florist spotted the couple shopping for centerpieces and roped in friends in the wedding industry, and they gave the couple a fabulous wedding. The bride wore a white satin gown decked out with lace, pearls and crystals—and matching white sneakers with lace and rhinestones. Said her mom, “There is no disabled love. There is only true love. And they have it.”
And this, a seemingly different kind of story—yet at its heart, it’s also about true love. Larissa and Ian Murphy had been dating for 10 months when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. She never stopped loving him; they married in August 2010. As she writes, “Marrying Ian meant that I was signing on to things that I don’t think I ever would’ve chosen for myself—working my whole life, having a husband who can’t be left alone, managing his caregivers, remembering to get the oil changed, advocating for medical care, balancing checkbooks, and on…. But in light of all the practicals, and emotionals, it was so very simple: We love each other. And we love God.”
culled from… http://www.lovethatmax.com/
The right to work is a fundamental right. It is essential for realizing other human rights and forms an
inseparable and inherent part of human dignity. Every individual has the right to be able to work, allowing
him/her to live in dignity. The right to work contributes at the same time to the survival of the individual
and to that of his/her family, and insofar as work is freely chosen or accepted, to his/her development
and recognition within the community.
According to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), persons with disabilities
have the right to work on an equal basis with others. This includes the right to the opportunity to gain a
living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive
and accessible to persons with disabilities. Article 27 of the CRPD requires States parties to take
adequate measures to safeguard and promote the realisation of the right to work of persons with
prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning employment,
including conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career
advancement and safe and healthy working conditions;
protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable
conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe
and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances;
enabling persons with disabilities to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance
programmes, placement services and vocational and continuing training;
promoting employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the open
labour market, both in the public and private sectors; and
ensuring that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace.
In its resolution 19/11, the Human Rights Council has requested the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights to prepare a thematic study on work and employment of persons with disabilities, in
consultation with States and other relevant stakeholders, including the International Labour
Organization, regional organisations, the Special Rapporteur on Disabilities of the Commission for Social
Development, civil society organisations, including organisations of persons with disabilities, and
national human rights institutions.
OHCHR undertook a consultation process to gather relevant information as a basis for preparing the
study. Official requests were been sent to States as well as to the other stakeholders identified in
resolution 19/11. In addition, OHCHR is interested in receiving information from any other individual or
organisation that wishes to contribute to the thematic study.
… Cued from the web page of United Nations- Human Rights.
Synopsis: Information regarding Lassa fever, an acute viral illness that is endemic in parts of west Africa.
Lassa fever or Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus and first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria. Lassa fever is a member of the Arenaviridae virus family. Similar to ebola, clinical cases of the disease had been known for over a decade but had not been connected with a viral pathogen.
Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in west Africa. The illness was discovered in the year 1969 when two missionary nurses died from it in Nigeria. The virus is named after the town in Nigeria where the illness first occurred. The virus is a member of the virus family, ‘Arenaviridae,’ and is a single- stranded RNA virus; it is, ‘zoonotic,’ or animal-borne. Lassa fever is endemic in parts of west Africa, to
include the following areas:
- Sierra Leone
Neighboring countries are also at risk due to the animal vector for Lassa virus. The animal is the,
‘Lassa Fever Blog,’ which is distributed throughout the region as a whole. In the year 2009, the first case from Mali was reported in a traveler who was living in southern Mali.
Ghana reported its first cases in the year 2011. Isolated cases have been reported in Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. There is also seismologic evidence of Lassa virus infection in Benin and Tongo.
The number of people who experience Lassa fever each year in west Africa is estimated to be between 100,000 and 300,000, with around 5,000 people dying from the virus. The estimates are crude because surveillance for cases of the disease is not performed uniformly. In some areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone, approximately 10-16% of those admitted to hospitals each year have Lassa fever, which indicates the serious impact of the virus on the population of these areas.
Signs and Symptoms of Lassa Fever.
The signs and symptoms of Lassa fever commonly happen 1-3 weeks after a person has come into contact with the virus. For most of those with a Lassa fever virus infection; around 80%, symptoms are mild and under-diagnosed. Mild symptoms include:
- Slight fever
- General malaise
Around 20% of infected people; however, the disease might progress to more serious symptoms that include hemorrhaging of the person’s eyes, gums, or nose – repeated vomiting, respiratory distress, pain in the back, chest and abdomen, facial swelling and shock. Neurological issues have also been described in relation to Lassa fever, to include tremors, hearing loss and encephalitis. An infected person may die within two weeks of their initial symptoms because of multi-organ failure. The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness. Different degrees of deafness happen in around one-third of those who become infected. In many cases, the hearing loss is permanent. The severity of the disease does not affect this particular complication; deafness might develop in mild as well as severe cases.
Between 15-20% of people who are hospitalized for Lassa fever die from the illness. Only 1% of all Lassa virus infections; however, result in the person’s death. The death rates for women in the third trimester of pregnancy are exceptionally high. Spontaneous abortion is a very serious complication of the infection; an estimated 95% mortality rate in fetuses of infected mothers is an alarm sounding off.
Due to the fact that the symptoms of Lassa fever are so nonspecific and varied, clinical diagnosis is often times difficult. Lassa fever is also associated with occasional epidemics. During these epidemics, the fatality rate may reach as high as 50% in people who become hospitalized.
Diagnosing Lassa Fever
Lassa fever is most often diagnosed through the use of, ‘enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assays (ELISA), which detect IgM and IgG antibodies as well as Lassa antigen. Reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) may be used in diagnosing people who are in the early stage of the disease. The Lassa virus itself may be cultured in 7-10 days, yet the procedure should only be performed in a high containment laboratory with good laboratory practices. Immunohistochemistry, performed on formalin-fixed tissue specimens, might be used to make a post-mortem diagnosis.
Treating Lassa Fever
‘Ribavirin,’ is an antiviral drug that has been used with success in people affected by Lassa fever. It has been shown to be most effective when it is administered early in the course of the illness. People should also receive supportive care that consists of maintenance of:
- Blood pressure
- Treatment of complicating infections
- Appropriate fluid and electrolyte balance
Preventing Lassa Fever
Primary transmission of the Lassa virus from its host to people may be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rats – particularly in the geographic areas where outbreaks happen. Putting food away in rat-proof containers and keeping your home clean help with discouraging rats from entering your home.
Using these rats as a source of food is definitely not recommended. Trapping around and in homes may help to reduce rat populations. Yet the wide distribution of Mastomys rats in Africa makes complete control of these rats impractical. While providing care for people with Lassa fever, further transmission of the disease through person-to- person contact or other routes may be avoided by taking preventative precautions against contact with secretions from infected persons called, ‘VHG isolation precautions,’ or barrier nursing methods. The precautions include wearing protective clothing such as masks, gowns, gloves and goggles; using infection control measures such as the sterilization of equipment. It is vital to isolate infected people from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course.
In addition, educating people who live in high-risk areas about ways to lower the rat populations in their homes will help to control and prevent Lassa fever. Other challenges include the development of quicker diagnostic tests and increasing the availability of the one drug known for treatment of Lassa fever – ribavirin. Research is currently being performed in regards to the development of a vaccine for the illness.
Facts: Lassa Fever
While most humans are infected either from contact with an infected rat or inhalation of air contaminated with rat excretions, like other hemorrhagic fevers, Lassa fever can be transmitted directly from one human to another. It can be contracted through direct contact with infected human blood excretions and secretions, including through sexual contact. No evidence of airborne transmission person-to-person is seen. Transmission through breast milk has also been observed.
Statistics: Lassa Fever
- The number of Lassa virus infections per year in West Africa is estimated at 100,000 to 300,000, with approximately 5,000 deaths.
- In 80% of cases, the disease is asymptomatic, but in the remaining 20%, it takes a complicated course. The virus is estimated to be responsible for about 5,000 deaths annually. The fever accounts for up to one third of deaths in hospitals within the affected regions and 10 to 16% of total cases.
The dissemination of the infection can be assessed by prevalence of antibodies to the virus in populations of:
- Sierra Leone – 8 to52%
- Guinea – 4 to 55%
- Nigeria – about 21
Culled from: Disability World (online)
HANDEF Empowers Her Graduate Trainees, Awards Winning Schools and Students in Essay and Art Competition-
-Agagu’s widow fetes handicapped trainees, students
THE wife of the former Governor of Ondo State and founder of Handicapped Education Foundation (HANDEF), Dr Mrs. Olufunke Agagu, last week feted primary, secondary school students and physically impaired trainees to mark its tenth empowerment programme in Akure.
HANDEF, since creation in 2008, has been encouraging people living with disabilities by organising different seminars and workshops on different aspects of life to empower them on health issues, business and entrepreneurship, and partnering with other local and international organizations, geared towards giving the focal persons a sense of belonging and purpose on earth.
Seventeen people living with various disabilities at the HANDEF Mobility Aid and Braille Centre were given six laptop computers, three knitting machines and eight cash empowerment, while 11 students from primary and secondary school categories won several awards and cash prizes in a competition.
According to the founder: “This will be the tenth in the series of our empowerment programs since the centre was commissioned in 2008. In fact, we had three ceremonies in the first year where we graduated 20 in ICT and seven in bead and hat making.”
She stated that the foundation has trained for free and graduated 56 people in ICT, 29 in fashion designing, knitting, hat and bead making from 2008 to 2015, “and all of them were given tools of their trade or start-off grants.”
Mrs. Olufunke Agagu mentioned that during the same period, the foundation has counselled and tested 1863 for HIV/ AIDS and have given out over 700 mobility aids throughout the south western states, and even to beneficiaries in Edo State, adding that one of the Ogungbeni children, who are beneficiaries of HANDEF, would soon graduate from the Technical College, Okitipupa.
The foundation in the last two years has introduced “The Essay and Artistic Drawing Competition,” which is open to select private primary and secondary schools in the state, and as affirmed by Agagu, “would serve firstly as campaign among school children on the plight of people with disability.”
She emphasized that the competition “also seeks to discover the latent creativity of our children. The winners of this competition in the various categories will be given awards and a reminiscent of the HANDEF Partners’ Club of the early years of the foundation.”
The former governor’s wife expressed displeasure over the poor use of the e-granary library that is domiciled in HANDEF Centre and the subsequent sale of the empowerment tools given to the trainees after graduation, thereby imploring parents to discourage their wards from such acts. HANDEF is also making efforts to partner with some tertiary institutions in the South West to reverse the former trend.
However, she said: “HANDEF will continue to work for the benefit and recognition of our focal group but I must say that we need encouragement from our parents, the general public and government at all levels; people with different disabilities are part and parcel of or society and they deserve recognition and place of pride, not pity or discrimination.”
The founder recounted that the donation that was received at its inception has yielded more profits, has been the source and financial base for the sustenance of its operations and empowerment programmes, thereby urging the general public and humanitarian organisations to partner with the foundation to better the lives of the handicapped and impaired people. Earlier, in a lecture on entrepreneurship, which is the key focus of HANDEF, Mr. Michael Amushitan, from Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), orientated the trainees and on the technicalities and strategies of becoming a successful entrepreneur in their various vocations.
The President of HANDEF Beneficiaries Business Association (HBBA), Falae Mayowa, thanked the founder for the humanitarian drive and pledged that the association would continue to dissuade the beneficiaries from further abusing the great gesture to give them a sense of belonging as a people.
Present at the occasion were: Chief Dr. Mrs. Olufunke Agagu, the former First Lady of Ondo state and Founder of HANDEF, Chief Femi Akinmade, a Board of Trustee member of HANDEF, Chief Mrs. Cecelia Meradesa, the Iyalode of Akure, Mrs. Bike Akinduro among others.
… Cued from The Guardian June 16, 2015
Volunteering provides a number of benefits to the
volunteer. When you volunteer, you are not only
helping others, you are helping yourself! Whether
you are currently employed or looking for a paying
job, volunteering can help you meet some of your
personal and professional goals.
If you are already employed, volunteering may
actually help reduce stress, some studies
have shown. It may seem like an oxymoron, that
adding more work to your workload can actually
reduce job-related stress , but apparently giving
back to the community and doing something good
for other people can be a stress reliever.
Additionally, there are many other professional
benefits from volunteering, from advancing your
current career, or even finding a new job.
Networking Opportunities for Healthcare Volunteers:
Volunteering can actually help
expand your professional network. Whether you are
employed, or unemployed, professional networking
is helpful for career advancement, or for identifying
potential job opportunities through added contacts.
Growing your network is an excellent way to
increase your chances for career success.
You may even be able to find someone who would
be willing to mentor you. A mentor could be
someone in your role or in your desired role, who
could take you under his or her wing and help get
you acquainted with the healthcare profession.
Try Before You Buy:
Volunteering can also be a great way to try out an
employer before you commit to working there for
the long term. By volunteering, you can dip your toe
into the proverbial pool, and learn about the work
environment, the culture, and personalities of the
employees, to see if working there is a long term fit
for you. This could help prevent you from being a
“job hopper ” because you will already be
familiarized with the setting ahead of time.
You may also be able to shadow a professional for a
day, to see what the “typical work day” is like for
someone in your desired role or the role you are
working towards, whether it’s a physician, nurse,
allied health professional, or administrative role.
Shadowing, or doing a preceptorship, can provide
invaluable perspective for you to help determine if
the health career you think you want is the best
option for you.
Learn New Skills:
Volunteering may also be a way for you to learn
new skills , terminology, or best practices. As a
volunteer, you are adding qualifications to your
background and experience that you can then apply
to your current or future paying jobs. Additionally,
your volunteer activities add depth to your resume’
and show that you are a well-rounded individual. In
fact, many colleges and employers specifically look
for volunteerism, and regard it highly when
selecting students and employees.
Working with an NGO could give you this leverage, adding more colour to your CV.
Therefore, if you are interested in trying it out as a volunteer, you can easily join Handicapped Education Foundation (HANDEF) with its headquarters located at plot 6/13, Olusegun Obasanjo Way Ilesa Road, Akure.
Hearing loss can be caused by many different
causes, some of which can be successfully treated
with medicine or surgery, depending on the disease
THREE TYPES OF HEARING LOSS
Conductive hearing loss – when hearing loss is
due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or
middle ear and its little bones (the malleus,
incus, and stapes).
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) – when
hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear,
also known as nerve-related hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss – refers to a combination of
conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This
means that there may be damage in the outer or
middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or
Conductive Hearing Loss
Malformation of outer ear, ear canal, or middle
Fluid in the middle ear from colds
Ear infection (otitis media – an infection of the
middle ear in which an accumulation of fluid may
interfere with the movement of the eardrum and
Poor Eustachian tube function
Infection in the ear canal
Foreign body in the ear
Treatments of Conductive Hearing Loss:
Types of conductive hearing loss include congenital
absence of ear canal or failure of the ear canal to be
open at birth, congenital absence, malformation, or
dysfunction of the middle ear structures, all of which
may possibly be surgically corrected. If these are
not amenable to successful surgical correction, then
the hearing alternatively may be improved with
amplification with a bone conduction hearing aid, or
a surgically implanted, osseointegrated device (for
example, the Baha or Ponto System), or a
conventional hearing aid, depending on the status of
the hearing nerve.
Other causes of conductive hearing loss are:
infection; tumors; middle ear fluid from infection or
Eustachian tube dysfunction; foreign body; and
trauma (as in a skull fracture). Acute infections are
usually treated with antibiotic or antifungal
medications. Chronic ear infections, chronic middle
fluid, and tumors usually require surgery. If there is
no response to initial medical therapy, infectious
middle ear fluid is usually treated with antibiotics —
while chronic non-infectious middle ear fluid is
treated with surgery (or pressure equalizing tubes).
Conductive hearing loss from head trauma is
frequently amenable to surgical repair of the
damaged middle ear structures, performed after the
patient’s general medical status is stabilized
following acute traumatic injuries.
A genetic form of conductive hearing loss is
otosclerosis, in which there is bony fixation of the
stapes (the third little bone of hearing in the middle
ear), where sound can’t get to the middle ear.
Otosclerosis usually presents with hearing loss in
early adulthood. Otosclerosis can successfully be
managed with surgery to replace the immobile
stapes with a mobile stapes prosthesis or with a
hearing aid. Research suggests that the measles
virus may contribute to stapes fixation in those with
a genetic predisposition to otosclerosis. The
incidence of otosclerosis may be decreasing in
some communities due to measles vaccination.
Otosclerosis (a hereditary disorder in which a bony
growth forms around a small bone in the middle
ear, preventing it from vibrating when stimulated by
sound) usually causes a conductive hearing loss, a
hearing loss caused by a problem in the outer or
middle ear. Less frequently, otosclerosis may cause
a sensorineural hearing loss (damaged sensory
cells and/or nerve fibers of the inner ear), as well
as a conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Exposure to loud noise
Virus or disease
Autoimmune inner ear disease
Hearing loss that runs in the family
Malformation of the inner ear
Otosclerosis – a hereditary disorder in which a
bony growth forms around a small bone in the
middle ear, preventing it from vibrating when
stimulated by sound.
Treatment of Sensorineural Hearing Loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss can result from
acoustic trauma (or exposure to excessively
loud noise), which may respond to medical
therapy with corticosteroids to reduce cochlea
hair cell swelling and inflammation to improve
healing of these injured inner ear structures.
Sensorineural hearing loss can occur from head
trauma or abrupt changes in air pressure such
as in airplane descent, which can cause inner
ear fluid compartment rupture or leakage, which
can be toxic to the inner ear. There has been
variable success with emergency surgery when
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss , presumed to
be of viral origin, is an otologic emergency that is
medically treated with corticosteroids.
Bilateral progressive hearing loss over several
months, also diagnosed as autoimmune inner ear
disease, is managed medically with long-term
corticosteroids and sometimes with drug
therapy. Autoimmune inner ear disease is when
the body’s immune system misdirects its
defenses against the inner ear structures to
cause damage in this part of the body.
Fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss may be
from unknown cause or associated with
Meniere’s Disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s
disease are hearing loss, tinnitus (or ringing in
the ears), and vertigo. Meniere’s disease may be
treated medically with a low-sodium diet,
diuretics, and corticosteroids. If the vertigo is
not medically controlled, then various surgical
procedures are used to eliminate the vertigo.
Sensorineural hearing loss from tumors of the
balance nerve adjacent to the hearing nerve,
generally are not reversed with surgical removal
or irradiation of these benign tumors. If the
hearing loss is mild and the tumors are very
small, hearing may be saved in 50 percent of
those undergoing hearing preservation surgery
for tumor removal.
Sensorineural hearing loss from disease in the
central nervous system may respond to medical
management for the specific disease affecting
the nervous system. For example, hearing loss
secondary to multiple sclerosis may be reversed
with treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Irreversible sensorineural hearing loss , the most
common form of hearing loss, may be managed
with hearing aids. When hearing aids are not
enough, this type of hearing loss can be
surgically treated with cochlear implants .
Mixed Hearing Loss
Treatments for Mixed Hearing Loss
Audiologist Mark Ross, Ph.D., recommends taking
care of the conductive component first. There have
been times when the addition of the conductive
component made the person a better hearing aid
candidate, by flattening out the audiogram for
example, while the underlying sensorineural
component presented a high-frequency loss.
However, still the emphasis would be on treating
medically what can be treated. He says that,
generally, you would expect positive results.
Stampede, of late has emerged as one of the major risks in any mass gathering, be it religious or political or cultural in our country. Whether the event organizers take sufficient preventive measures to prevent stampedes or not, we are on our own when it comes to saving our life and of others in such situations. Though prevention of disasters like stampedes may seem foolish once they start happening, surviving such accidents is very much possible if you observe the following tips :
- The first and most important thing is to consciously make yourself familiar with your surroundings and mentally notice alternate exits. No matter where you are, make sure you always know how to get out.
- Make yourself aware of the type of ground you are standing on: in a moving crowd wet or uneven ground can be slippery or hazardous.
- Do not stand near or climb on chairs, benches, and barricades, temporary structures, such as the Dias/stage, the start/finish points in marathons, which could collapse under too much weight or pressure. Do not forget, if you do such things, hundred others would follow you in mass gatherings.
- Be aware of the general atmosphere of the event, as panic situations can often be easily anticipated. When in danger, few seconds can make all the difference, giving you the possibility of taking advantage of your escaping route. Stay always closer to the escape route.
- Panicked crowds move fast and release an incredible amount of energy, usually compared to the energy generated by a running train: once a crowd gets moving it is very hard to stop, and the flow of people could literally sweep you off your feet.
- So, if you find yourself in the middle of a moving crowd do notfight against the pressure, do not stand still or sit down, because you could easily get trampled.
- Instead, move in the same directionof the crowd; take advantage of any space that may open up to move sideways to the crowd movement where the flow is weaker.
- If you fall, get up quickly. If you can’t get up because you are injured, get someone to pull you back up. If you have kids, lift them up.
- Because the noise level in a crowd could be too loud for shouting to be effective, use gestures to communicateto each other. Always remember, in stampedes everyone will be running scared to get out of the place.
- Grab your friend’s hand or shoulder to remain together. Alternatively, decide on a gathering point where you will meet and account for each other, should you get separated.
- If you fall and cannot get up, keep moving by crawling in the same direction of the crowd, or if that is not possible, then cover your head with your arms and curl up into the fetal position(do not lay on your stomach or back, as this dangerously exposes your lungs).
- The worst scenario is to be pushed by the crowd against an immovable object. Try to stay away from walls, fences or barricades, as the crowd pressure can build up rapidly. On the other hand, if you are at the back of a crowd that looks jammed, do not push it, as it could pose a threat to someone else safety.
- If you are visiting a pilgrim place in its peak season, reserve your tickets early. Know whether there were any stampedes earlier, talk to the people who just returned from the place about arrangements, whether the authorities taken extra measures etc.
- Avoid moving in huge crowds especially in the small hours of day (between 3AM and 6AM) as many volunteers and police personnel are not expected to be active during that period which eventually leaves the crowd to take decision on their own.
- Visit and enjoy only the places where adequate crowd control measures are in place. Remember! You have only one life to live.
Credit: Hyderabad City Police
On March 10, 2014, an outbreak of a contagious disease characterized by fever, diarrhea
and vomiting emerged in two villages in Guinea. When the illness was confirmed as Ebola Virus
Disease (EVD), the death toll was 59. The deadly disease is seriously ravaging the African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As at the time of this article, death toll is over 1000 victims, and in Lagos State, Nigeria, the deadly disease have claimed its third casualty two of whom are the medical personnel who treated Mr. Patrick Saonyer, the Liberian American who carried the disease into Nigeria.
With that thought in mind, I would like to share with you some facts regarding the Ebola virus, as well as some guidelines on the prevention of contracting the virus.
Humans can catch the Ebola virus through close contact with infected chimpanzees,
gorillas, monkeys, fruit bats, forest antelopes and porcupines found ill or dead in the forest.
Thereafter, Ebola spreads in the community from human to human, with infection resulting from
direct contact with infected people. It may also be spread through indirect contact with
environments contaminated with the blood, urine, stool and vomit of infected people as well as their soiled clothing and bed linen. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness. Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air, food or water. Also, individuals who have no symptom are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, a person would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.
What are the signs and symptoms of the Ebola virus? The incubation period, which is the
time interval from infection with the virus to the start of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days. Usually, the
illness starts with fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by
vomiting, diarrhea, rash with kidney and liver problems and in some cases, both internal and
external bleeding. Ebola can easily be confused with other illnesses.
How can we avoid catching Ebola? Keep in mind that while initial cases of EVD are
contracted by touching infected animals or carcasses, secondary cases occur by direct contact with an ill person. During an Ebola outbreak, most of the disease has been by spread from one person to another. Several steps can be taken to help in preventing infection and limiting or stopping transmission.
Please take note of the following precautions:
- Listen to and follow directives issued by the local and federal authorities.
- Do not touch animals such as fruit bats, monkeys or antelopes in affected areas
- No animal found ill or dead should be touched without appropriate protective measures
- Avoid consuming bush meat
- Do not touch a person suffering from Ebola or a deceased patient
- Do not touch the soiled clothing or bed linen from a patient with Ebola. Disinfection is
required before handling these items.
- Hand washing with soap and running water should be done frequently where there is
- Avoid contact with body fluids such as urine, stool, vomit and blood.
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died
I WISH YOU GOOD HEALTH