Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Pan- African Federation of Oto-rhino-laryngological Societies (PAFOS), specialists in the treatment of Ear, Nose, Throat and other related ailments, have called for the inclusion of ENT in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The group said this should be done holistically as out-of-packet payment services are no longer fashionable and not sustainable, hence the need for the federal government to come to the aid of Nigerians and make the services available.
The call was made by the president of the Society, Prof. OGB. Nwaorgu at the end of its conference in Abuja with the theme ‘Challenges of ENT practice in Africa’ with sub themes which are ‘Head and neck cancer management; cochlear implantation: the African experience; audiological Services in Africa’.
He said leaving ENT infections unattended to has the potency of affecting a child’s performance in school and even the level of reasoning, meditation and intelligence. Also, he advised against the cutting of swelling on the body by local barbers and burial of the flesh instead of taking it to histology where it will be tested to see if it’s early signs of cancer. He said with such practice, a follow up treatment will be difficult to do.
He said: “For the government, we are crying that there’s need for the NHIS to cover ear, throat, neck, nose services in Nigeria holistically, because out-of-pocket payment services are no longer fashionable and not sustainable. So government should come to the aid of Nigerians to make the services available so that we can nip these challenges in the bud.
“In the case of nose, you will find children having catarrh and snoring endlessly. Most of the time, they will be branded as children suffering from cancer and being given all manner of treatment. More often than not, it is not asthma, it is just adonoid obstruction and sometimes recurrent tonsils in which case, if you see ENT surgeons, they will be able to take adequate measures,” he added.