Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is an essential aspect of hygiene for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause. Despite being an important issue concerning women and girls in the menstruating age group MHM is often overlooked.
If able-bodied women find menstruation a challenge, what about those who are deaf and mute, blind and physically challenged? Unfortunate, MHM among the deaf has never been seen as an issue before.
It is on this premise that the Ghana National Association for the Deaf (GNAD) has held a day’s Stakeholders Forum in Accra purposely to educate girls in the Special schools, especially those with hearing impairment.
In an interview with Today on the sidelines of the forum, President of GNAD, Mathew Kubachua expressed frustrations at the nonexistence of sign interpreters at the various health centers across the country. He explained that the absence of sign interpreters at both state and private institutions is a great worry to the association.
“How can a doctor or a nurse administer quality healthcare on the deaf, if they do not know the exact problem of a deaf patient,” Kubachua asked.
He therefore, appealed to state actors to take steps to address such grieve anomalies which affects the well-being of the deaf.
Meanwhile, the Project Coordinator for GNAD, Robert Sampana has hinted that his outfit is currently undertaking a Menstrual Health Hygiene Management for in-school Deaf Adolescents in the Special Deaf Schools across the country. He explained that the core objectives of the project is to build the capacity of Deaf schools to respond to unmet menstrual health needs of in-school Deaf adolescents girls.
A Senior Nursing Officer at the Ashiaman Municipal Health Directorate, Benedicta Ahiahornu, who is the resource person on the project, took the participants through a presentation on the theme: “Building the capacity of Deaf female Adolescents on Menstrual Health Hygiene Management”. She noted that communicating and interacting with the deaf and mute ladies and being able to convey information accurately is a tough task for health practitioners.
She said the danger is more when those who are supposed to convey information interpret it wrongly as it can result in wrong practices by the deaf people.
According to her addressing such an issue in a group is challenging as they feel uneasy in responding to the issues. Also, it is not advisable to have one common general method to interact with the three different groups — deaf and mute, blind and physically handicapped.
She emphasized the development of a unique medium or method of communication for each disability challenge because which should be focused on addressing challenges related to communication, infrastructure and product usage.
“To bridge this gap, training a partially deaf-mute candidate, who can further train others, could prove helpful,” She said.
Source: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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