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      Survey of ENT services in Africa: need for a comprehensive intervention

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          Abstract

          Background

          Burden of disease (BOD) is greatest in resource-starved regions such as Africa. Even though hearing disability ranks third on the list of non-fatal disabling conditions in low- and middle-income countries, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) disorders are not specifically coded for within the framework governing global BOD estimates, and in discussions about health challenges, non-communicable diseases receive scant attention. Implementing cost-effective interventions to address conditions largely neglected by global estimates of BOD such as hearing loss are important contributors to health and economic development.

          Objectives

          Establish a database of ENT, audiology, and speech therapy services in Sub-Saharan Africa; create awareness about the status of these services; propose effective intervention; gather data to lobby African governments, donor countries, and aid organizations; determine need for Developing World Forum for ENT, Audiology, and Speech Therapy services.

          Design

          Survey of ENT, audiology, and speech therapy services and training in 18 Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

          Results

          There is an alarming paucity of services and training opportunities, and there is a large gap between higher technology, expensive health care in high-income countries and lower technology, low-cost practice in low-income countries.

          Conclusions

          Lower technology and lower cost Developing World medical practice should be recognized and fostered as a field of medical practice, teaching, and research. Developing World centers of excellence must be fostered to take a lead in teaching, training, and research. A Developing World Forum for ENT Surgery, Audiology, and Speech Therapy, directed and driven by Africa and the Developing World, supported by the First World, should be established, to develop a comprehensive intervention to turn around the severe shortage of services and expertise in the Developing World. Global health policies and practices should include new norms and standards which serve the interests of the global community, and are based on current realities of global health.

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          Most cited references5

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          Loss of vision and hearing

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            Engaging for health. 11th General Programme of Work, 2006–2015

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              The burden of disease and mortality by condition: data, methods, and results for 2001. Table 3.12. The 10 leading causes on YLD by broad income group

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glob Health Action
                GHA
                Global Health Action
                CoAction Publishing
                1654-9716
                1654-9880
                19 March 2009
                2009
                : 2
                : 10.3402/gha.v2i0.1932
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
                [2 ]Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
                Author notes
                [* ] Johan J. Fagan, Division of Otolaryngology, University of Cape Town, H53, OMB, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town 7925, South Africa. Tel: +27 21 406 6420. Fax: +27 21 448 8865. Email: Johannes.Fagan@ 123456uct.ac.za
                Article
                GHA-2-1932
                10.3402/gha.v2i0.1932
                2779942
                20027268
                9bfa7c14-4af0-4e28-a25d-1ee034b1d46a
                © 2009 Johan J. Fagan and Marian Jacobs

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 12 January 2009
                : 27 February 2009
                : 27 February 2009
                Categories
                Original Article

                Health & Social care
                audiology,africa,hearing,otolaryngology,ent,speech therapy,developing world
                Health & Social care
                audiology, africa, hearing, otolaryngology, ent, speech therapy, developing world

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