Six clinician from various clinics in Kitwe are undergoing training in sign language in order to improve communication between them and the deaf people, the Zambia Deaf Youth and Women (ZDYW) in collaboration with the Kitwe District Health Management Team (KDHMT) has revealed.
.ZDYW Executive Director Frankson Musukwa said his organization in partnership with the KDHMT office initiated a pilot project to train health workers in basic sign language for the sake of improving communication between the health personnel and the Deaf people whenever they go to seek medical services.
Mr Musukwa was speaking on Friday at the KDHMT offices in Buchi during the graduation ceremony of the six clinician.
“ZDYW in partnership with KDHMT office initiated a pilot project to train Health workers in basic sign language. The results are encouraging and overwhelming as you have observed.
“We commend the commitment of the KDHMT Director Dr Chikafuna Banda to break the communication barrier that has hindered deaf citizens from accessing high quality affordable health services which is a universal right,” Mr Musukwa said.
He implored the graduads to continue practising the new language which they had acquired through interactions with the deaf community and feel free to visit the hub of the deaf people in Chimwemwe.
“The experience for many deaf people is frustration as it is simply difficult for them to communicate because of language communication barriers. Those who do use it often have a much poorer experience,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Banda said the partnership between the ZDYW and his office had been growing for some time and was happy that the two institutions were working together to improve communication between the deaf and the health workers.
He said the training of the six health workers in basic sign language was just a pilot project and that the two institutions would increase the number of health workers to be trained in basic sign language.
“This is just a pilot project, but I can tell you the results are encouraging and we would work together to increase the number of health workers to be trained in basic sign language because it will improve communication between the deaf and the health workers.
“This is one step ahead in dealing with the problem of communication barriers between the deaf and the health workers,” Dr Banda said.