There is a need for the training of some healthcare providers on sign language for them to effectively attend to hearing impaired people. Two non-governmental organizations made the point in Lagos at a program they organized for hearing impaired students, being effort to carry them along in the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
The event took place at Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired, Surulere.
The two organizations involved in the program are the National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Development, NYNETA, and Lagos State Chapter of the Hearing Impaired.
The Program officer, NYNETA, Lanre Babamole said the hearing impaired, especially adolescents face the same health and emotional challenges like their peers and so should be specially considered in all services.
According to him, there should be at least one specialized doctor in every government hospital who the hearing impaired students can confide in as well as receive counsel on reproductive health.
“They are having challenges in accessing treatment in most of the public and private hospitals across the state because most of our health care service personnel does not have the interpersonal skill of communication with them and also they need government support”
Similarly, the Chairman of the Hearing Impaired Persons in Lagos, Mr. Kamal Agbabiaka, explained through an interpreter that the program was part of a week-long event to enlighten his colleagues on how to access services, especially as they concern health.
“The hearing impaired people are like all other disabled, they need to be informed accurately about the state of their health and environment by providing interpreters that will make them to know the state of their HIV status and ability to participate in government policies”
It was an interesting scene to behold as hearing impaired participants discussed HIV/AIDS issues and how to play safe to avoid the deadly disease.
One of the facilitators, Adeniyi Olajide explained the level of ability of the students to absorb information.
Other speakers were of the opinion that if the HIV/AIDS campaign is successful among the hearing impaired and people with special needs, then the country would have succeeded in enlightening all segments of the society on the deadly disease.
The program is expected to empower the students to become peer educators on Adolescent Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS awareness.