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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 120-125

Prevalence of hearing impairment amongst primary school children in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State: Implication for strengthening of school health programme in Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatrics, Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
I Nduka
Department of Community Medicine, Abia State University Uturu, Abia State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/9783-1230.144774

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Introduction: Hearing impairment is the most frequent sensory deficit in humans with a higher prevalence in developing countries. Materials and Methods: Hearing assessment was carried out in lower primary school children in Port Harcourt City (PHC) between January 10th and May 21, 2010. A total of 802 school children were selected by multistage sampling technique, consisting of 405 (50.5%) males and 397 (49.5%) females. Screening for hearing impairment was done using pure tone audiometry after an otoscopic examination. The prevalence of hearing impairment was found to be 29.4%. Result: Hearing impairment was significantly more prevalent (32.8%) among children in the older age group (11-13 years) than in children 5-7 years of age (24.2%). Most (58.9%) of the children had slight hearing impairment (16-25 dB HL). Unilateral hearing loss was seen in 54.1% of the children while 45.9% had bilateral hearing loss. Conclusion /Recommendation: The study revealed that hearing impairment is common among primary school children in PHC. We therefore recommend that routine hearing screening should be part of the school health program at school entry for primary school pupils, for early detection and treatment of hearing impairment to enhance total development of the child and maximize academic performance.

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