The public has been told that prejudice attitudes toward deaf persons by the society which has been a phenomenon over the years has resulted into members of deaf population now openly expressing prejudice against the hearing population too.
Speaking at the 4th edition of annual Ifako-ijaiye deaf awareness day held on Thursday, Chief Dr. (Mrs) Adeola Olanrewaju, Chief Executive, Golden Pen Ltd and Executive Director, Disability Policy and Advocacy Initiatives (DPAI) said “the victims of prejudice, tend to reciprocate, and/or internalize the prejudice to which they have been exposed. Thus, the dominant hearing society is advised not to “compel deaf people to conform to the “human sciences” conventionality by learning speech but rather focus on the development of the Deaf social movement ideology to seek a general recognition for sign language as a better and valid cultural variation and to learn sign language to aid easy communication with the deaf.”
Speaking on the topic: ‘advocacy, change and transformation of the Deaf people’ as part of theme of the event which is ‘Achieving SDGs: A Catalyst for Effective Empowerment, Change and Transformation of the Deaf’, the director disclosed some ways deaf people can be empowered. She however urged the society to be accommodating and understanding deaf people, their culture and societal needs.
The Medical Director of General Hospital Ifako-ijaiye, Dr. Shakirudeen Bamidele Mustapha who was represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Ime Okon of department of community health, while presenting lecture on “Effective Healthcare Delivery at the Grass-roots: a Necessity”, said “the Universal Health Coverage simply means “Health for all”. Making healthcare services, available, accessible and affordable to all. This can be achieved using the Primary Health Care (PHC) system.
According to her, “The ideal PHC system, should ensure health facility is available within 5km distance to where families (communities) live. And at least one General hospital/secondary healthcare centre per LGA since the family is the basic unit of the society (grassroots).”
Inclusive News Network (INN) reports that the Lagos state government has provided health insurance scheme for all residents in Lagos state, adding that accessing health insurance in Lagos is cost friendly.
Speaking further, Dr Okon noted that, “Lagos State Health Insurance costs N8,500 per individual and N40,000 for a family of 6 (Father, mother, and 4 children below 12 years of age). With this Information at our disposal, she enjoined all to try and access health care services freely which include vaccination services, antenatal care and delivery etc.” She advised people above 40 years of age to screen for the silent killers like hypertension, diabetes, cancers.
Earlier, the Chairman, Ifako-ijaiye Welfare Association of the Deaf (IIWAD) – Comrade Adewale Elisha Adeyanju said that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.
According to him, “the Deaf are interested in the implementation of SDGs and have agreed that if it is implemented holistically, the SDGs have the capabilities to transform lives, empowered the poor and the vulnerable including the Deaf and other categories of persons with disabilities. It will also enhanced and improved better living condition for all.”
He also charged Ifako-ijaiye Local Government Council Chairman – Prince Usman Akanbi Hamzat and officials of the LGA to prioritize employment and empowerment opportunities for the Deaf, urging them to appoint a Special Adviser on disability affairs to the Local Government Council Chairman as well as employ sign language interpreters at the General Hospital to assist deaf patients.
Responding on behalf of the Chairman, the Human Resources Officer – Princess Bisi Maryam Oyindamola promised to convey the message to the Chairman.