Headline Health News Nigeria

Association of the Deaf laments inability to access healthcare

The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf wants Government at all levels to provide functional sign language interpreters in all health care centers across the country to enable their members have easy access to life saving information especially during emergencies.

They made the call at a forum and presentation of research document organized by world Federation of the deaf, CBM global disability inclusion and other stakeholders to address the challenges deaf women face in public places especially during health related emergencies.

The research document shows that though Deaf women and girls access hospitals in an emergency, they do not receive the same quality of care as other patients due to lack of sign language interpreters that will enhance good communication skills between health workers and deaf patients.

A disability advocacy officer with Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities Uche Andrew and a former Deaf women leader Janet Fasakin who spoke through interpreters expressed their challenges accessing health care facilities with no sign language interpreters.

For the country Director of a nongovernmental organization, CBM global disability inclusion Ekaete Umoh harnessing the recommendations of the research document would enhance social inclusion and bridge communication gap among deaf women receiving medication.

Also, the acting Director of social Integration, National Commission for persons with Disabilities Mr Idemudia Lawrence said apart from absence of interpreters in public places there was the need to train health workers on knowing the sign language.

The president, world Federation of the Deaf Mr Joseph Murray noted that it was the fundamental rights of deaf persons to have access to interpreters to reduce the risk associated with emergencies.

The theme of the research reports is “Barriers to Health care Access for deaf Nigerian Women and girls during emergencies: Analyzing the Additional impacts on their intersectional Identity”.

Reporting by Parisa Samuel, editing by Daniel Adejo.