As part of our prevention strategy we have highlighted the need to address the increasing number of children identified with hearing loss and who give a past history of being treated for Malaria. Sometimes children are treated with intravenous and oral Quinine as it is very effective given in the correct doses and is relatively cheap. However in uncomplicated malaria it is not recommended as the first drug of choice. Quinine is ototoxic along with other known drugs such as the antibiotic Gentamicin both of which are commonly administered to babies and children. Irrational use of such medicines can be detrimental to the hearing of children. According to the World Health Organisation, ototoxicity accounts for 4% of childhood hearing loss worldwide.
We have now started to work with our partners KCCA and local health care workers to monitor the use of these drugs and to advocate for adherence to the local clinical guidelines to prevent one of the major preventable causes of childhood hearing loss.