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Central Region health workers learn sign language

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Some of the participants during the training
Some of the participants during the training

Forty-nine health workers from various health facilities in the Central Region are undergoing a three-week sign language course at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH).

The participants, including doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, administrative staff, midwives and some teachers from nursing training institutions are being trained in basic sign language to enable them to offer quality services to clients with speech challenges.

The Public Relations Officer of the CCTH, Mr Frederick Nyankah, told the Daily Graphic that the course was to help equip the employees to break the language barriers for clients with speech challenges to be able to serve them better.

He said currently, the CCTH had only one nurse who could communicate effectively in the sign language.

This, he noted, posed a great challenge to delivering services to clients with speech challenges.

“Even when she is off duty, she has to be called to work because she is the only person who can effectively sign,” he stated.

He said the course was to get many more paramedics to be able to communicate with clients and ensure that the right services were given them.

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Crucial tool

Mr Nyankah said communication remained a crucial tool in effective health care, adding that the course was a step towards achieving satisfactory health service delivery for all.

A beneficiary of the course, Dr Jennifer Kwawukume, said it was important that the care giver and clients communicated without barriers to ensure improved delivery of services.

She said the training was commendable and would ensure that healthcare providers freely communicated with all.

Barrier

The Director of Programmes at Supreme Sign, Mr Isaac Ofori, who is in charge of the training programme, said as long as there were communication barriers, persons with speech challenges could not be helped.

He commended the hospital for the initiative and said the participants were picking the sign language very fast.