Goodwill Insurance Brokers, in collaboration with Standout Care, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has organised a free health screening for persons with hearing impairment to help address their healthcare needs.
Medical conditions checked during the exercise included temperature, pulse rate, diabetes, hypertension, body pains, sight, malaria test and a general body examination.
Aside from that, the medical team also provided them with free medications while those with complicated conditions were being referred to other health facilities to seek further treatment.
The exercise came off last Saturday at the Circle branch of the Church of Christ.
The Chief Operations Officer of Goodwill Insurance Brokers, Mr Richard Sarkodie, noted that people with hearing impairment in the country refused to seek health care due to stigmatisation and the peculiar nature of their communication barrier.
As a result of that, he said many of them, out of frustration, resorted to either self-medication or herbal treatment.
Even for those who chose to go for proper health care, Mr Sarkodie said the health professionals were not able to provide them with proper diagnosis due to the communication barrier and that sometimes ended up worsening their situation.
“We are reaching out to these people to make sure that whatever ailment that they have, we will get some professionals who understand their language to take care of their healthcare needs,” Mr Sarkodie said.
He said 300 individuals were targeted for the one-day exercise to provide them with proper health care.
To ensure its sustainability, he said there was also a follow up system which had been put in place to ascertain whether the treatment was effective.
The general objective, he said, was to help improve the health conditions of persons living with hearing impairment in the country.
Going forward, Mr Sarkodie called for government to institute policies to address the needs of such person, especially their healthcare requirements.
He suggested that sign language interpreters should be made available at various health centres to see to the needs of hearing impaired patients and also help reduce casualties caused by wrong diagnosis.
“This is because the health system in Ghana does not favour them and some of them have suffered ailments for several years but because of how they are being treated at the various health facilities they are reluctant to go there for treatment,” Mr Sarkodie added.
The preacher in-charge of the deaf at the Church of Christ, Mr Sam Williams, commended the organisations for embarking on such an initiative to provide health care for such marginalised people.
He also pleaded with them to be consistent with the initiative to ensure a wider coverage of the deaf and dumb community in the country.