2 Bodies support hearing-impaired nursing student

BY: Mohammed Fugu
Ms Mildred Alexandra Menkiti (2nd left) presenting the item to Ms Zakia Issahaku (right)
Ms Mildred Alexandra Menkiti (2nd left) presenting the item to Ms Zakia Issahaku (right)

Two organisations have supported a hearing-impaired student pursuing professional nursing training to enable her to continue her education.

The Alexandra Miriam Foundation and Under The Sun Foundation donated a laptop each, while the latter also paid the full semester fees of Ms Zakia Issahaku, who is studying nursing at the Community Health Nursing Training College (CHNTC) in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region.

The support follows a report in the Daily Graphic in the March 24, 2021, edition, which highlighted the plight of Ms Issahaku, who found it difficult to cope with the Diploma in Nursing programme because of the lack of an interpreter to regularly guide her in class during lessons.

The school has no sign language interpreter to help students with hearing impairment during lessons, while Ms Issahaku is unable to afford the services of an interpreter.

One of the laptops has been installed with a conversation software that transcribes voices into texts to enable her  to read.

Presentation

The Founder of Alexandra Miriam Foundation, Ms Mildred Alexandra Menkiti, said she was inspired by her effort to pursue her ambition to become a professional nurse, in spite of her condition.

She said Ms Issahaku would inspire other physically challenged persons to pursue their dreams.

The Founder of Under The Sun Foundation, Mrs Leonie Ansah-Tandoh, encouraged Ms Zakia to put the items to good use for her personal development.

“We are very touched by Ms Issahaku’s commitment to break the odds and pursue her dream, and we will continue to support her in our little way,” she said.

 Mr Mohammed Fugu (right), a Daily Graphic correspondent, presenting the laptop to Ms Zakia Issahaku on behalf of Under The Sun Foundation

Appreciation

The 25-year-old student thanked the two organisations at the separate ceremonies for coming to her aid, stressing that she would take her studies seriously to make the help relevant.

She, however, appealed for financial support to enable her to complete the programme.

Ms Issahaku completed the Mampong-Akwapim Senior High School for the Deaf in 2018. 

Her dream of becoming a nurse began when the CHNTC offered her admission to study in the school in 2019.

Ms Isahaku, whose parents are petty traders, managed to hire the service of an interpreter for only the first year, but were unable to sustain the financial commitment of engaging the services of the interpreter throughout the three-year programme.

Hearing-impaired nurses

Ms Issahaku told the Daily Graphic that she was defying the odds of marginalisation to become relevant in society.

Since independence, Ghana has not produced a medical doctor or a nurse with hearing impairment due to the barrier of communication in sign language and the mode of teaching in local schools.

In spite of the introduction of sign language into the curricula of nursing and midwifery training schools in 2014, not a single deaf person has been trained as a nurse.