Pan African Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (PAFOS) is a non-government organization (NGO) in Africa. This organization brings together otorhinolaryngology’s experts in Africa who best known possibilities of daily health care and ENT challenges in Africa. The main aim of this organization is developed otolaryngological care in Africa. The meetings takes place one every two years and involve specialists as: otolaryngologists, audiologists, speech therapists and other hearing specialists from different African countries such as: Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon. Members of this society often studied on abroad and they know reality of otolaryngology in developed countries in Europe or America.
This year’s conference was organized in Abuja- capital of Nigeria which is a largest strategically located metropolitan city, where live about 6 million peoples belonging for different ethics and religious group. Conference was organized under the patronage of President Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari. Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade welcomed all participates on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee and the Otorhinolaryngological Society of Nigeria (ORLSON) to the conference of the Pan African Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (PAFOS). ORLSON has been hosting this conference for the first time ever, since the beginning of PAFOS. The aim of this meeting was to work out a consensus for ENT challenges in Africa. It also provided a platform for ENT surgeons and their allies to share knowledge as well as to synergize towards solving common problems in their fields of practice.
The main theme of conference was “Challenges of ORL practice in Africa”. The biggest challenge in Nigeria and other African countries are deficits of specialists, 250 ENT surgeons are only in Nigeria, country where live approximately 160 million people.
During this conference, topic panels were about: head and neck cancer management, cochlear implantation, audiological services in Africa and causes of hearing loss. It needs to be highlighted that the most common cause of hearing loss is taken medicines for malaria with ototoxic effects. The study conducted in group of 136 patients with ototoxicity was presented. The commonest implicated drugs in ototoxicity were injection chloroquine, gentamicin followed by quinine. About 70% of the study group had severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss as side effects of drugs. What is important, the disability can be effect on lack of knowledge by medicine specialists about adverse reactions. Multidisciplinary work (pharmacist, doctors and other health specialists) are recommended which should be based on education of medical specialists in order to prevention of ototoxicity effects. The same topic was brought up during visit in Lagos State University College of Medicine w Ikeja in June by team of Institute Physiology and Pathology of Hearing.
The area which aroused interest was a Telemedicine. Participants presented many studies about benefits using the telemedicine. It needs to be highlighted that limits of financial resources and shortages in infrastructure are the basis to develop and induct methods which can be include extensive group of patients generating a minimalize costs.
During this conference the Institute Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, World Hearing Center was represented by Professor Piotr Henryk Skarzynski, Maciej Ludwikowski, Katarzyna Bienkowska and Weronika Swierniak. Team of WHC could share own experiences during discussions and also presented eleven topics inter alia:
• Bone conductive implants – World Hearing Center Experience with different systems
• Cochlear implantation – important surgical steps
• Audiological results and quality of life after Bonebridge and Baha Attract surgery
• New directions and indications in cochlear implantation
• Advanced hearing screening in school age children in different African countries
• Telediagnostic net in Poland and other countries
• Diagnostic and rehabilitation of patients with Auditory Processing Disorders
• Tinnitus evaluation method in adult patients with otosclerosis
It was also experience and saw different perspective of daily solutions of otolaryngology than in Poland or other developed countries. The topic attracting the greatest attention was: Advanced hearing screening in school age children in different African countries presented by Maciej Ludwikowski.
This presentation was showed four times and every single time congratulated for Institute Physiology and Pathology of Hearing for this idea. Offers to continue hearing screening by Institute and collaborate in Africa were proposed.
At the end of conference the ceremonial dinner was taken place. Organizators thanked for team of Institute Physiology and Pathology of Hearing for active participating during PAFOS Conference and many members of this Society declared a visit on 4th International Symposium on Otosclerosis and Stapes Surgery in Cracow.
After conference team of the Institute Physiology and Pathology of Hearing continued a hearing screening in Rose-Valley School in Lagos where about 200 pupils were examined. The videootoscopy, otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) and pure tone audiometry were conducted. As the first time our team was welcomed by local’s teachers and pupils.
Pure tone audiometry examination conducted using Sensory Examination Platform®