Deaf Women Aloud Initiative DWAI Hard of Hearing loss
The DWAI is urging for increased inclusion the health sector to prevent the stigmatisation of deaf individuals.

DWAI Seeks Inclusive Health Education

A non-governmental organisation titled the Deaf Women Aloud initiative (DWAI) is championing the inclusion of Deaf individuals everywhere and is urging the introduction of sign language as a compulsory course in the schools of nursing and midwifery in Nigeria.

Making sign language a compulsory course would ensure that nurses who are the first point of contact during hospital visits are equipped with the requisite knowledge to aid doctors in the communication and treatment of Deaf patients.

They stated their position at an interactive session held in Abuja by She Forum Africa, a pan-African organisation, and Pathfinder International, a development partner to strengthen the inclusion of all voices in #Icommit Voices for Women’s Health Initiative to strengthen the inclusion of all voices and solicit multi-sectoral commitments for advancing women’s health and rights.

President of Deaf Women Aloud Initiative, Hellen Beyioku-Alase decried the inhumane treatments meted out on deaf female patients who are not given room to discuss and agree on treatment choices available to all.

She is asking for inclusion, awareness, treatment, and inclusion, for HIV/Aids, diabetes, fibroids, malaria, and other diseases for deaf people who are being daily exploited.

Sharing their experiences, members expressed disappointment at the unjust treatments meted out to deaf patients who subscribe to the National Health Insurance subscription at various health facilities which has resulted in many deaths.

Read Also: WHO: Over 1bn People Have Ear Problems Globally

While making a case for the need to employ sign Language interpreters who must subscribe to oaths of confidentiality to protect the information so disclosed, they stated that lack of financial inclusion has also led to the exclusion of indigent deaf citizens.

They appealed for the establishment of focal Non Governmental organisations to support indigent deaf people.

They pointed out that the specialised, continuous, and sustained advocacy and inclusion for deaf women would save their lives and empower them to save the lives of deaf women who have resorted to learning medical interventions on YouTube to avoid the denigrating attitude and treatment meted out on them at various Hospitals by medical personnel who are not accommodating.

The Founder of She Forum Africa, Ms. Inimfon Etuk, responding on behalf of the convening partners, commended DWAI for pushing the inclusion agenda for Deaf Women in Nigeria.

She committed to partnering with other development partners to push for inclusive solutions to some of the challenges which had been enunciated towards achieving gender equality and advancing women’s health and rights.

The interactive session is a part of their efforts to jumpstart inclusive action for the voices of all stakeholders to be heard in the quest to advance the health and rights of women in Nigeria.

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