Dr Love Konadu, the President of Mama Love Foundation, an Obuasi-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), is advocating the recruitment of sign language interpreters to aid persons with hearing impairment in accessing health care without difficulties.
She said addressing the challenges they faced in health facilities was critical to Ghana’s achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Speaking at an end-of-year get-together at Obuasi, organised by the Foundation for persons with hearing impairment and widows, Dr Konadu said it was important for the Government to hire the services of sign language interpreters in public health facilities to eliminate the perennial language barrier problem.
She said the hearing-impaired usually had a tough time communicating with medical staff when seeking health care services because of the unavailability of interpreters.
Making provision for interpreters in health facilities and other public places was the way to go to promote inclusive development where no one was left behind, Dr Konadu said.
More than 100 deaf and dumb persons, widows and their children were given nice treats by the Mama Love Foundation at the get-together.
She said sign language interpreters were scarce due to a lack of policy framework governing their activities.
Dr Konadu called on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to initiate a process to make it compulsory for sign language interpreters to be hired in public places, especially hospitals.
“I have seen that the Church of Christ is really trying to even teach their members how to learn the sign language but it seems their work is not formalised hence they are always in short supply.”
“I believe it’s about time government invested in sign language interpreters and develop legislations to back their work,” she said.
The visually impaired, speaking through their interpreter, expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the kind gesture and appealed to it to continue championing the cause of persons with disability.