DSC01729Ano daw? is a very common Filipino clarificatory phrase used when one didn’t hear whats being said. The person being asked will usually respond to the question by repeating what was said by the speaker then usually it is jokingly followed by, “Bingi” or Deaf.

Although this is usually said in jest, very seldom do we realize that for a lot calling the person asking “Ano daw”? bingi might be accurate. This is because you don’t have to be totally deaf to be considered suffering from hearing loss. But is hearing loss a serious problem?

Chances are you’ve never heard of the term Acute Otitis Media or AOM, but you’ll be surprise to know that 3 out of 4 children worldwide will suffer from Otitis Media before they reach the age of 3 and that  Otitis Media ranks as 8th leading cause of ailments amongst Filipino children, but the real unheard truth bout this diseased is that AOM is the leading cause of ailments amongst Filipino children, but the real unheard truth about this disease is that AOM is the leading cause of hearing loss, delayed speech and other sequelae such as impaired mental development that likewise imposes a significant medical,social, educational, and economic burden.

The chance of a layperson hearing about AOM is really low because it is usually an under diagnosed disease. But it is a highly preventable and manageable disease. That is why every time I hear about people especially children, asking Ano daw? ,” my resolved to addressed this inconvenient truth about the question is strengthened ‘ says Dr. Gretchen Locsin, Assistant Professor  at the College of Medicine, St. Lukes Medical Center QC  and Vice Chair of the Philippine Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. However, aside from the fact that 3 out our 4 children worldwide will have AOM before the age of 3 clinical studies shows that 1 out of 2 Filipino children with rhinitis are also suffering from otitis media.

It is because of this that the Otitis media group , headed by Dr. Generoso “Gene” Abes, Director – Philippine National Ear Institute, National Institute of Health, Manila and a Professor College of Medicine , University of the Philippines, Manila, decided to come up with a medical handbook, that’s a first of its kind , entitled- ACCUTE OTITIS MEDIA IN CHILDREN: CURRENT EVIDENCED- BASED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS 2013.

The book is designed to help primary care physicians to further understand AOM, and subsequently to properly diagnose and treat the said disease. If left untreated, it can lead to hearing loss, or in some cases serious complications like facial nerve paralysis, meningitis and a brain abscess, among others adds Dr. Gene Abes. Furthermore, as stated in the handbook, AOM often affects the child’s development, academic performance, social interaction and general health. For the family, the onset of complications necessitates medical and/ or surgical interventions that result in substantial economic burden.

The launching of the book was applauded by pediatric infectious disease  experts of the Philippines like Dr. Lulu Bravo of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination and Dr. Sally Gatchalian, who is also the Medical Director for Vaccines of GlaxoSmithKline Philippines. “Vaccines can also protect children from Acute Otitis Media and prevent needless suffering and developmental delays. GSK is committed to fighting child Accute Otitis Media and is continuously delivering and researching ways to prevent the disease. I believe that the handbook released by the Otitis Media Group is going to b an important tool to fight Acute Otitis Media , I think we are step to closer in hearing lesser “Ano Daw” ? syndrome.


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