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Concerned Group Decries The Effect Of COVID-19 On Kids With Hearing Disorder

A non-governmental organisation, Friends of the Deaf, has bemoaned the negative impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable people such as kids with hearing-impediment.

The NGO said children with ear conditions have been facing tough time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Speaking with PUNCHHealthWise in an interview, in Lagos, Executive Director of Friends of the Deaf, Funmilola Ogunro lamented that the situation was further worsened by the recent provision of online and radio classes which does not have provision for people with hearing impediments. She said:

“As part of the vulnerable group in society, they are not considered or carried along in the online and radio learning.”

According to the World Health Organisation, around 466 million people across the globe have disabling hearing loss, with children accounting for 34 million of the figure.

The United Nations agency further added that exclusion from communication can have a significant impact on everyday life, causing feelings of loneliness, isolation, and frustration.

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Ogunro stressed that it was as a result of the vacuum created by the non-consideration of children with hearing loss that compelled the Friends of the Deaf Academy to commence a free virtual class for deaf students. The educationist stated further:

“The FDF team came together and decided to proffer a solution for deaf students who are not being carried along in learning, as most schools have resumed online classes.

“Unlike most of the online classes, we are not charging any fee for the training. The classes will start with Mathematics and English lessons, being the core course for every child.

“Our plan is to help cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on our deaf pupils who need to refresh their knowledge in education, particularly in the areas of Mathematics and English. We believe this little is better than nothing and it is well appreciated by all.”

Ogunro stressed that the FDF has resolved to make use of WhatsApp platform for the classes so the children can take advantage of their parents’ smartphones. She added:

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“The virtual class will adopt all kinds of methods to stimulate learning, knowing fully well that these children are visual learners.”

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