The Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria (ASLIN), Kwara Chapter, has advocated for the integration of sign language into the medical curriculum and the involvement of sign interpreters in Nigerian hospitals.
Owolabi explained that the deaf community is at a disadvantage when it comes to health issues.
According to him, communication barriers have always been a nightmare for hearing-impaired people, as they are unable to interact effectively with doctors.
He added that there is a need for sign language interpreters in the country’s hospitals, both in the primary, secondary and tertiary health system.
“The hearing impaired are unique unlike other people living with disabilities. They have the challenge of communication and this is a great challenge for their health.
“We need to make sure that we start doing something so that medical professionals can communicate with them, and this can be through sign language,” he said.
Also speaking to Mr. Julius Olaolu, from the University of Ilorin Center for Deaf Support Services, he added that there are big condition issues where a hearing impaired patient is unable to communicate with their carers.
Olaolu alleged cases of misdiagnosis leading to the death of hearing-impaired people, adding that as Nigerians, people with special needs are also entitled to medical facilities.
Therefore, he also advocated the integration of sign language into the medical curriculum, adding that this will also help doctors in the line of duty.
Dr. Oluwayemisi Adegboye, Care Coordinator/Case Manager at the Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, noted the need to help people with hearing impairments in Nigeria, especially in relation to their health problems.
She stressed the need and importance of the ability of health professionals to communicate with the deaf.
Adegboye added that such capacity must encompass all health services, from the door of the health center to where the records are kept, laboratories to doctors, among others.
Source Credit: NAN