Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is an essential aspect of hygiene for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause. Despite being an important issue concerning women and girls in the menstruating age group MHM is often overlooked.
If able-bodied women find menstruation a challenge, what about those who are deaf and mute, blind and physically handicapped? Unfortunate MHM among deaf and mute had never been seen as a severe issue before.
It is on this premise that the Ghana National Association for the Deaf (GNAD) in collaboration with PromoAfrica Network media, held a day’s Stakeholder’s Forum in Accra educate in-school Deaf adolescent girls in the Special Deaf Schools.
Speaking in an interview with Today after the forum through an interpreter, the President of GNAD, Mr. Mathew Kubachua could not hide his frustrations about the nonexistence of sign interpreters at the various health centers across the country.
He explained that the absence of sign interpreters at both state and private institutions was a great worry to the association.
“How can a doctor or a nurse administer quality healthcare on the deaf, if they do not know the exact problem of a deaf patient” Mr. Kubachua asked.
He therefore, appealed to state actors to take steps to address such grieve anomalies which affects the wellbeing of the deaf.
Meanwhile, GNAD Project Coordinator, Mr. Robert Sampana hinted that his outfit is currently undertaking a Menstrual Health Hygiene Management for in-school Deaf Adolescents in the Special Deaf Schools in the country.
Mr. Sampana explained that the core objectives of the project is to build the capacity of Deaf schools to respond unmet menstrual health needs of in-school Deaf adolescents girls.
On her part, a Senior Nursing Officer at the Ashiaman Municipal Health Directorate, Mrs. Benedicta Ahiahornu who took gathering through a presentation on the theme: “Building the capacity of Deaf female Adolescents on Menstrual Health Hygiene Management” noted that when it comes to communication, interacting with the deaf and mute women and being able to convey information accurately is a tough task.
Mrs. Ahiahornu revealed that it is a very dangerous those conveyer of information interpret the information incorrectly will result in follow wrong practices by deaf people.
According to her addressing the issue in such a group is challenging as they feel awkward and don’t respond well. Also, it’s not advisable to have one common general method to interact with the three different groups — deaf and mute, blind and physically handicapped.
She stressed that the medium and method of communication must be developed uniquely for every disability as each has its unique set of problems related to communication, infrastructure and product usage.
“To bridge this gap, training a partially deaf-mute candidate, who can further train others, could prove helpful.” She said.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: [email protected]