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Sign language ignorance affecting access to family planning for PWDs

FILE PHOTO: Contraceptive pills

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | People with Disabilities (PWDs) especially those with visual, speech and hearing impairments find challenges choosing the best contraceptives and other reproductive health services they need.

This was revealed by health workers attending the annual reproductive, Maternal, Newborn health symposium today.

The health workers say that because of the communication gap between them and persons with disabilities, they are sometimes left with no choice but to let the clients in this category go unattended to.

Dr Siraje Kizito, a Health worker from Butaleja district urged the ministry of Health to recruit at least one interpreter for every Health Center IV as a short term solution if health workers cannot be provided with basic knowledge on sign language while at medical school.

Community Health Commissioner Dr Jessica Nsungwa is however optimistic that a recent training provided by Mulago Hospital to health workers on some sign languages will trickle down to lower facilities.

She said in catering for PWDs, they have started off with providing delivery beds to mothers with physical disabilities whereby last year, 240 adjustable beds were provided to Health Center IVs across the country.

However, Dr Edison Muhwezi, the Assistant representative at the UNFPA said they have already recruited PWDs on the team to help guide in planning and implementation of activities that will inform the formulation of proper guidelines for access to reproductive health commodities for this group.

He said they started with standards to cater for reproductive health needs for the elderly.



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