Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) would like sign language interpretation services to be mainstreamed into the healthcare delivery system in Ghana. The call was made by the Executive Director of GNAD, James M Sambian.
Mr. Sambian called on government to factor concerns of the deaf in healthcare delivery system by ensuring sign language interpretation through: employing sign language interpreters, and secondly, training healthcare personnel in sign language to be able to receive deaf patients.
GNAD is hopeful the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) will implement an all-inclusive healthcare system that will factor the needs of the deaf. The Association acknowledges healthcare reforms over the years but admits that healthcare needs of deaf community are not taken seriously. “Deaf People in Ghana remains excluded and forgotten”. GNAD argues that in spite of the provisions made by the Disability Act 715(2006), the Constitution of Ghana and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, Deaf People in Ghana are denied access to healthcare.
GNAD also thanked STAR-Ghana for the financial support for the sign language training of staff in the Komfo Anokye and Ridge Hospitals. They expressed hope that these positive signals would encourage sign language interpreters to be employed in all the major hospitals. The association urged all other health services providers, both public and private, to do same.