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Hearing-impaired people face challenges at healthcare centres

16 March 2013 | General News

Mr Robert Sampana, Advocacy Officer of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD), said on Friday that lack of sign language interpreters in hospitals is preventing its members from accessing healthcare in the country.

He said in a statement that lack of sign language interpreters had resulted in improper diagnosis at health facilities as communication barrier between the deaf and hearing medical officers often leads to wrong prescriptions and complications in some cases and in other cases preventable deaths.

“There is lack of adequate knowledge of deaf people, their culture and language by healthcare personnel,” the statement said.

The statement appealed to relatives of deaf patients to get their victims sign language interpreters and involve them in family activities to prevent the isolation trauma patients with the disability go through all the time.

“It is only through the medium of sign language that deaf persons can enjoy and exercise their human rights and play an active role in society”, it added.

The statement appealed to the government to recognize Ghana Sign Language as official language for the deaf and make provision for the employment of sign language interpreters in healthcare centres across the country.

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