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We want sign interpreters in FCT hospitals – Deaf association

The Chairperson of the Deaf Women Association of Nigeria (DWAN), Abuja chapter, Mrs. Hellen Beyioku-Alase, has called on the FCT Administration (FCTA) to provide sign interpreters in hospitals.

Mrs. Beyioku was speaking at the beginning of a two -day workshop on improving deaf women’s access to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

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“Presently, it is difficult for pregnant women and girls in the FCT to access maternity services, especially during childbirth. We are calling on the FCT health secretariat and the social development services to provide us with sign interpreters so that we can access health care services easily,” she said.

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She said the Project Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) for Deaf Women was a 12-month project on sexual and reproductive health rights focused on sensitisation of deaf women and girls and the training of healthcare providers on basic health sign language which was funded by the US embassy.

A representative of the US embassy from the Public Affairs Office, Sophie Savage, said Project HER demonstrated the US Governments’ commitment to promoting capacity building for healthcare providers, as well as increased education for deaf women. She said women and girls with disabilities should not be left out of the conversation.

Policy Consultant with IPas, another donor partner, Doris Ikpeze, said women with disabilities frequently encountered substandard care in hospitals, including discrimination and abusive treatment due to lack of  communication, hence sign language interpreters should be provided for them as it is their right.

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