Deafness: Specialist recommends regular check on ears



Dr Patrick Odumuh, an Otolaryngologist, an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist at

National Hospital, Abuja, has advised Nigerians to always go for routine medical check-up of their ears to avoid deafness.

Odumuh told Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja that regular check-up could also prevent an ear ailment symptom known as tinnitus.

Otolaryngologists diagnose, manage and treat disorders of the head and neck, including the ears, nose, throat, sinuses, voice box (larynx) and other structures.

The specialist, however, said that “tinnitus is usually characterised by the perception of noise in which a person hears a cricket-like ringing or noise in one or both ears.”

He said tinnitus is also a perception of noise or ringing in the ears, and a common thing among people.

He added that “tinnitus is not an ailment in itself, but a symptom of an underlying ear problem.”

The ENT specialist said that such symptomatic signs and other ear infections, especially those caused by noise pollution,

could be detected early in the cause of medical check-up.

“The sound may be in one or both ears and it is usually accompanied by pain in the ear, which cuts across age but occurs mostly in adults and as one progresses in age.

“It is caused by accumulated ear wax, infections, continuous exposure to loud noise and age-related hearing loss.”

Odumuh warned against removing earwax frequently, noting that wax protects the ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria.

He said when earwax accumulated for long, it could become hard to wash away naturally, and later result in tinnitus.

He identified other factors that could cause ear problems, which, he said, lately increased the number of patients visiting hospitals, as noise exposure from places of worship, industrial machines, generating sets, loud music and continuous use of head phones.

Odumuh, however, advised sufferers who had visited ear specialists to adhere strictly to the therapies and medications given to them.

Edited & Vetted By: Chidi Opara/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu


Visa: NIS refuses departure of 58 Nigerian Medical Doctors



Operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos, has refused departure of 58 Nigerian doctors.

The Spokesman of the service, Mr Sunday James, disclosed this in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.

James noted that the doctors attempted traveling aboard a UK bound aircraft flight number ENT 550, registration number SP-ES that flew in from London.

According to him, 56 of the doctors had no visa for entry to United Kingdom, while only two (2) had visa.

“The 58 Medical Doctors were refused departure in line with Section 31 subsection 2a and b, of Act 2015.

“This means, on powers conferred on the Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, to prohibit departure of any person under the conditions stated in the Act.

“The chartered flight approved for landing in Nigeria was to carry 42 medical doctors for a training program but they were 58 with only two having visa for entry into UK.

“A situation that calls for refusal of departure, ” he said.

James said that NIS as the agency saddled with control of entry and departure from Nigeria of persons would not allow individuals or groups of well-educated Nigerians to disobey the laws.

He added that those who should know the procedures for travelling out of their country and the requirements, which include having a valid visa for entry into a destination country to leave, should not violate the laws.

“This is to avoid refusal of entry and repatriation back to Nigeria amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

“And also spreading of same as well as flouting the Federal Government’s directive on restriction of international flights unless for essential reason as approved by government.

“There is no official communication to the Service from the Ministry of Health in Nigeria or any known Medical body notifying the NIS of the travel of this number of medical doctors.

“The aircraft has departed for London without the medical doctors.

“The Comptroller General is taking this opportunity to advise Nigerians to always adhere to travel protocols.

“They should ensure they have valid passports with valid visa to the country they intended travelling to before going to any Airport, Seaport or Land Border Control to avoid refusal to depart.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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Lessons from porn industry could help Hollywood adapt to coronavirus



As Hollywood tries to figure out how to resume production of movies and TV shows in the coronavirus era, one sector may be better prepared than others to deal with the challenges.

Porn actresses line-up at the opening of the “Venus” erotic fair in Berlin October 17, 2013. The event, which represents the erotic business in the German capital, is open till October 20, 2013. abrizio Bensch (GERMANY – Tags: SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT)

The porn industry in Los Angeles came up with its own testing system and database in the 1990s to protect actors during the epidemic.

Now it is using that system to develop protocols for making adult entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we first starting talking about COVID-19, we felt very well prepared because we have a whole history of testing within the industry as well as contact tracing and production shut-downs,” said Mike Stabile, spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the U.S. adult entertainment industry.

“This is obviously a different type of virus, this is a different type of threat, but we understood in general how it would work and what we’d need to do in order to protect ourselves,” he said.

The protocols were established in the late 1990s after a porn actor forged an HIV test and infected several others in the industry.

Porn star Sharon Mitchell, who is now a physician, created a system now known as PASS (Performer Availability Scheduling Services), in which porn actors are required to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every 14 days.

The results are entered into a database which informs producers and directors who is clean and available for work.

“All it tells us is a binary. Are you clear to work or are you not clear to work?” Stabile said.

Stabile said the coronavirus, which is more easily transmitted, is a more complex problem but that the porn industry was open to working with mainstream Hollywood studios to share its expertise.

“The challenges for sports, for Hollywood and the porn industry are all different but in reality, we each have things we can learn from each other,” Stabile said.

Hollywood movie studios, television networks and groups representing actors and directors have been brainstorming for weeks on how to re-start production while protecting everyone from actors to make-up artists and camera crews.

Ideas include quarantining all cast and crew for the length of a shoot, medics on sets, temperature tests every 12 hours, and substituting extras and crowd scenes with computer generated imagery, according to leaked documents and industry sources.

Movie and TV production in Europe – including Iceland, Denmark and the Czech Republic, where many Hollywood shows are filmed – is expected to resume before the United States, according to the film commissions in those nations.

But questions linger over insurance and how much actors and directors will want to travel when the outbreak has yet to be contained in many countries.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
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Italy to reopen some businesses as early as this week



Italy to reopen some businesses as early as this week

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy, the first European country to be hard-hit by the coronavirus, will allow some businesses to reopen as soon as this week while aiming to reopen manufacturing and construction from May 4, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

Conte gave the most detailed outline yet of plans to reopen the economy, in a newspaper interview published on Sunday ahead of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, which he said would be released no later than early this week.

Italy, hit hard by the virus weeks before other major Western countries, has been forced to serve as a model for how to fight it. It is being closely watched around the world as it takes its early steps to chart a path out of a strict lockdown it imposed in early March.

Conte described a phased process that would see much of manufacturing restarted in early May, although businesses frequented by the general public such as bars and restaurants would have to wait a bit longer. Schools would remain shut until September.

“We are working in these hours to allow the reopening of a good part of businesses from manufacturing to construction for May 4,” Conte told Italian daily La Repubblica.

Some businesses deemed “strategic”, including activity that was mainly export-oriented, could reopen this week providing they get the go ahead from local prefects.

Exporting companies need to resume activity sooner to reduce the risk of being cut out of the production chain and losing business, he said.

“We can’t prolong any further this lockdown… we would risk seriously undermining the socio-economic fabric of the country,” Conte said.

Conte reiterated that any restart would have to be gradual, and said companies would have to introduce strict health safety measures before opening their doors.

Newspapers have said industries where the contagion risk is low, such as manufacturing and wholesale businesses, would be allowed to open on May 4. Retailers could then reopen on May 11 and bars and restaurants on May 18, under tough conditions.

The lockdown has put a strain on the euro zone’s third largest economy and Italian business leaders have called for the restrictions to be eased to head off economic catastrophe.

Rome has introduced a series of measures including state-backed loans to help businesses stay afloat. But some businessmen have complained about delays in implementing them.


Conte said the government was monitoring banks to make sure state-guaranteed liquidity arrived to companies in need.

He also said the government was working on a series of measures to help industry by cutting bureaucratic red tape.

Asked about schools, Conte said the plan was to reopen them in September. But he added studies showed the risk of contagion was very high. Teaching remotely is working well, he said.

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World Ear, Hearing Day: ENT Surgeon urges govt. to subsidise cost of cochlear implant



Dr Abiodun Olusesi, the Chief Consultant, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon, and Head of ENT Department, National Hospital Abuja (NHA) has urged government to subsidise the cost of cochlear implant for Nigerians who suffer from hearing loss.

A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted neuroprosthetic device to provide a person with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss a modified sense.

Olusesi made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja in commemoration of the International Day for Ear and Hearing.

He urged government to subsidise  at least 25 per cent of  the cost of cochlear implant to make the device affordable for Nigerians who suffer from hearing loss.

According to him, government should provide some percentage for cochlear implant to those who have hearing loss and want the technology.

He added that the present National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) did not cover any implant, which is not manufactured in Nigeria.

He explained “in the past 10 years, we screened not  less than 120 people who require the use of hearing aid application such as cochlear implant.

“But the number of people who were able to raise funds and come for the cochlear implant at the National Hospital Abuja are less than 20, mostly from well-to-do families.

“This is because of its cost, as cochlear implant for just one ear is close to N6 millon.”

He said many families could not afford the rehabilitation option and that was why they chose to enrol their children in school for the deaf.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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