Deaf women stage protest, demand for interpreters in hospitals, other public places

Posted by News Express | 10 December 2015 | 3,173 times

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The Deaf Women Association of Nigeria (DWAN) has urged government to provide sign language interpreters in hospitals.

Mrs Helen Beyioku-Alase, the Chairperson, FCT chapter of the Association, made the call during a rally organised in collaboration with IPAS Nigeria, an NGO dealing with female reproductive health on Wednesday in Abuja.

The chairperson said members of the association also wanted to have sign language interpreters in other public places to address the communication gap between service providers and persons with disabilities.

Beyioku-Alase said some other challenges of members in hospitals include inability to understand message passed across by doctors and nurses to pregnant women on the dos and don’ts during antenatal services.

She explained that they spent so much time at antenatal without being attended to.

According to her, when doctors finally show up they cannot understand what he or she is saying, likewise the doctors.

She said that during antenatal clinics, doctors advise pregnant women on what to eat and drink and what to avoid but deaf women hardly understood such information.

She explained that most deaf women do not take their children to hospitals for immunisation because they were unaware of when to do.

The deaf women association chairperson further said that a lot of them were unaware of what to do to avoid contacting HIV/AIDS and other health diseases.

She noted that the only way to bridge the language gap between healthcare providers and people with disabilities was through the provision of sign language interpreters across board.

She explained that such group of persons were mostly discriminated against in the society due to their inability to hear or express their demands or feelings.

“Deaf women and girls have huge population among women with disabilities and there is no any kind of support for them anywhere in the society.

“Our rally is aimed at creating awareness to the society and government because we have been stigmatised and discriminated against for long.

“We are creating awareness on inclusiveness; to provide healthcare for deaf women and also make policies that deaf women will benefit from.

“We want government to create information so that we will know the health implications of some diseases and how to prevent them, we lack all these information.

“The only way such information can be passed to us is through short videos and sign language interpreters.”

In his address, Mr Emmanual Udoh, the Deputy Director in charge of NGOs, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, assured the Association of the ministry’s commitment to address their plight.

Udoh, who commended their efforts in fighting for their rights through the right channel, said the ministry would support their efforts.

The inscriptions on the placards which members of the association carried at the rally include ‘we do not want charity;’ ‘we want inclusion and empowerment to be independent.’ (NAN)

•Photo shows Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole.


Source: News Express

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