A Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Officer in Brong-Ahafo has appealed to health workers to pay utmost attention to the hearing/speech-impaired persons to facilitate their easy access to health care services.
Madam Judith Bruwaah Twumasi, the Officer in-charge of the RCH Unit at the Regional Directorate of Health Services gave the advice when she was speaking at the opening of a three-day training workshop for health workers on Wednesday at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District.
It was organised by the Ghana National Association for the Deaf (GNAD) on the theme “Reproductive Rights are Deaf Rights” and was attended by 20 nurses who represented the entire health workers of four selected hospitals, two each in the Sunyani and Tano South Municipalities of Brong-Ahafo.
A selected number of hearing/speech-impaired persons across the region also participated.
The aim was “to increase participants’ skills and abilities to provide quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including safe clinical abortion cases and information for the hearing/speech-impaired persons”.
It also provided the necessary sensitisation and education for removal of communication barriers between the hearing/speech-impaired persons and health workers, created awareness on deaf and dumb issues and advocated for equal opportunities for them (hearing/speech-impaired persons).
Mad. Twumasi said, “the deaf and dumb are equally normal human beings, so nurses must pay proper attention to them to enable them to enjoy the universal health coverage provided by the Ghana Health Service (GHS)”.
She stressed that the hearing/speech-impaired persons had challenges accessing health services, especially SRH because of their situation and thus needed special attention in that regard.
Hence “Health workers must be cordially receptive to hearing/speech-impaired persons and assist them with the required health care services to justify the GHS motto-Your Health-Our Concern”, Mad. Twumasi emphasised.
She observed that effective communication challenges between health workers and the hearing/speech- impaired persons sometimes impeded the needed quality health care service delivery they need.
Mad. Twumasi therefore urged health workers trained in sign language to be always available and ready to assist their other colleagues to serve the hearing/speech-impaired persons well in the health facilities.
Mr. Emmanuel Kwaku Sackey, the President of GNAD described the workshop as very significant and timely because it would help to achieve the vision and mission of the GNAD.
It would also promote active and productive deaf and dump community with access to education, information and steady economic activities that could enhance and sustain the quality lives they desire, Mr. Sackey added.