As part of our efforts to improve access to health services and information for Deaf women and girls in four area councils, DWAI paid an advocacy visit to Gwagwalada Area Councils recently. DWAI was well received by the honorable Chairman and his executive councils. The highlight of the visit was to present her fact-finding mission on the issues of accessible health services and information which is very critical to the Deaf community.
However, it should be noted that communication barriers remain a major challenge in providing quality health services and information for Deaf women and girls of reproductive ages and this often results in wrong diagnosis, wrong prescription, poor healthcare delivery, just to mention but a few. Despite these challenges, it should also be noted that it is the right of every citizen including a Deaf person to be carried along in the day-to-day activities of the society in which they live. As domesticated in Nigeria Disability Act of 2018 under Part V 21(1) that Government shall guarantee that persons with disabilities have unfettered access to adequate healthcare without discrimination on the basis of disability.
We also use this occasion to sensitize the council and ensure that they are committed to the adoption of policies and directives to make health services and information accessible to and inclusive for Deaf women and we also request for provision of sign language interpreters in primary health centers for communication accessibility, inclusion of Deaf women and girls with disabilities matters in policies domesticated by the Council and ensure the right of deaf women and girls to quality healthcare, particularly maternal and new-born and equal employment opportunity.
At the conclusion of the visit, we received a positive response from the chairmen and they all considered our issues to be very critical which need urgent attention and they also acknowledged the fact that they are hearing our matters for the first time from us directly. A directive was also issued to the Head of the health department to work on our requests and the modality for partnership and collaboration.
This visit was made possible through the support of Disability Rights Fund (DRF).
Special thanks to the amicable team for their tireless efforts. To friends, family and partners thank you so much for your support and encouragement over the years. Stay blessed.