Deaf Can Talk, a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the welfare of people with hearing disabilities has embarked on an educational campaign on covid-19 for deaf persons in the Sekyere East District.
The programme was in collaboration with the Effiduase Wesley Cathedral of the Methodist Church and the Effiduase Government Hospital.
The aim is to provide information on the coronavirus to the hearing impaired and educate them on the various prevention protocols and restrictive measures outlined by the government and the Ghana Health Service to combat the spread of the disease.
Mr. Ike Agyei Mensah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization speaking at one such campaign programme at Effiduase, said the essence was to help people with hearing disabilities to get information in order to protect themselves and stay safe.
He alleged that people with disabilities had been left out in the educational campaign programme and there was the need to fill the gap.
Mr Mensah said the mission of his organization was to reach out to deaf persons on the dangers of the virus and create awareness for them to adhere to the preventive protocols.
“It would amaze you that out of the 23 deaf persons selected across the district that participated in education programme, 90 percent actually confirmed that they were not aware of the COVID-19 and were very perturbed that no government machinery had come to their aid in terms of sensitization and provision of requisite protective gears or items”, Mr Mensah said.
Mr Mensah, who is a professional sign language interpreter, pointed out that information should not just be available to the deaf but must be readily accessible to them.
He said it was sad that the deaf had been marginalized in this critical moment of the coronavirus pandemic and urged the government and other key stakeholders in the fight to consider the interest of persons with disabilities and provide them with support.
Very Reverend Joseph Kojo Galley, the Superintendent Minister of the Effiduase Circuit of the Methodist Church commended the NGO for the initiative and said the church had already begun engaging the CEO of the NGO as interpreter for the deaf in its local online service since the government announced a ban on church services as part of the precautionary and restrictive measures to fight the coronavirus disease.
Dr. Stephen Opoku a Medical officer at the Effiduase Government Hospital educated the participants on the COVID-19 and ways of protecting themselves and their families from being infected and spread of the disease.
He commended the NGO for the initiative and urged the participants to educate their colleagues in their communities who could not have the opportunity to participate in the programme.