The Executive Director of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD), Mr Juventus Duorinaah has called for an increase in awareness about sexual and reproductive health among the hearing impaired.
“The media must also include sign language in their reportage to remove barriers that hinders access to such information.”
He made the call at the opening of a three-day workshop organised by GNAD in Accra.
The programme which was held on the theme, “Tackling barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services for the deaf”, formed part of the efforts to consolidate the capacity and experiences of the deaf community on the dangers of unsafe abortion, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and family planning.
It also sought to, among others, educate participants on the laws of abortion, its legal implications, comprehensive abortion care and the right places to go to get information about SRH.
According to the Executive Director, there was the need for government to collaborate with his outfit for frequent training and sensitisation of healthcare workers on deaf friendly SRH services, and ensure that sign language services were covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He said it was also necessary for the government to facilitate the translation of major SRH documents and materials into sign languages.
Mr Duorinaah further revealed that, through research findings, GNAD had presented a document concerning the SRH needs and concerns of the deaf community to the Ministry of Health.
Addressing participants, a health practitioner at the Adabraka Polyclinic in Accra, Madam Beatrice Okoh stated that the education was not to encourage abortion, but rather educate members on abortion and its consequences.
She encouraged the government to ensure more nurses were trained in sign language, since communication barrier had become a challenge, and commended GNAD for their continuous support for the welfare of its members.
Project Officer of GNAD, Mr Eric Sapey Junior in his submission appealed to the government, individuals and corporate organisations to support the activities of GNAD.
In furtherance, he urged participants to use the knowledge they had acquired to improve their lives.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU