Home Deaf News Specialist Hospital Pledges Support For Gombe State Deaf Community

Specialist Hospital Pledges Support For Gombe State Deaf Community

by Yusuf Mohammed Lawan, Gombe

In an effort to make health care delivery accessible to the Deaf Community and other Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Gombe State, chairman of Gombe State Association of the Deaf (GOMSAD), Comr. Blessed Charles led executive officials of GOMSAD on a courtesy visit to the Chief Medical Director, Gombe Specialist Hospital.

The group was received by Dr. Muazu Shuaibu Ishaq in his office on Monday, April 10.

Speaking on behalf of GOMSAD members, Mr. Charles appealed to the Medical Director to make efforts to ensure employment of sign language interpreters and Disability Desk officers in the apex healthcare facility owned by the state government

Mr. Charles said “we come here specifically to address you on some pressing healthcare challenges facing members of our community”.

“Its unfortunate that the Deaf community has over the years grappled with the problem of communication and information discrimination caused by lack of sign language interpreting services in the hospital”.

“ The absent of Disability Desk officers is another issue of concern that needs to be promptly addressed as it affects all categories of PWDs in Gombe state”, he added.

The GOMSAD chairman highlighted the many benefits to PWDs if hospital management employ sign language interpreters and Disability Desk officers in the facility.

According to him, such move will make healthcare accessible to PWDs, provide an efficient means of disseminating relevant information to Deaf patients – thereby saving more lives and making doctors’ work easier.

Earlier, the Secretary General, JONAPWD Gombe State Chapter, Mallam Shuaibu Adamu expressed gratitude to the CMD for sacrificing valuable time from his tight schedules to listen to their demands.

He recalls that the hospital had over the years been PWD friendly – with a PWD staff in the registry section.

The JONAPWD scribe used the occasion to appeal the hospital management to consider employing a teeming Deaf youth graduates in various units of the hospital.

He noted that doing so will enable them to contribute meaningfully to development of society while facilitating the federal government’s approved 5% slots for PWDs in the MDAs

Similarly, the immediate past secretary of GOMSAD Mallam Yusuf Mohammed Lawan used the opportunity to appreciate Dr. Shuaibu for being the first Medical Director to give audience to a GOMSAD team since establishment of the hospital.

Lawan stressed that the need for the hospital management to create a conducive environment for all PWDs patients who wish to benefit from the State Government subsidized healthcare package known as GO-Health programme.

He added: “ its high time all PWDs get enrolled in the GO-Health programme – the essential objective of which is to support less privileged members of the society, including PWDs.

In his response to the sensitive issues tabled before him, the CMD said he is overjoyed to welcome the PWDs representatives to his office at such crucial moment. He noted that this is the first time he will be communicating with PWDs and that makes him proud.

“ I assure you that we will organize a special press conference and invite you to express yourselves fully”.

In this hospital we are treating everyone equally and we will continue to treat you as respectable people” Shuaibu reassured.

He added, “the only problem we have is how to communicate with the Deaf patients. I believe that when our doctors and staff learn how to communicate with Deaf patients, things would be much easier for both sides”.

“ We will however work to ensure we enter into partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to see to the eventual posting of Disability Desk Officers and Sign Language interpreters”.

On the issue of GO-Health, the CMD said: “We are aware there is a policy to select beneficiaries of the project and this is done through registration, however, in this hospital we have a committee that will ensure the PWDs are fully included in the Go-Health project. We will take that to the Executive secretary of GO-Health and see how far it goes.

On employment, Shuaibu remarked: “As it is now, we are not in the process of recruiting staff, but I can assure you we will have one or two people keep you in view”.

Finally a board member of GOMSAD, Mr. Daniel Yusuf Labeleng, used the occasion to thank the CMD and other staff of the hospital on the gigantic efforts being made to see that PWDs benefit from the GO-Health programme and other important healthcare packages.

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