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The deaf community and the barriers faced when accessing healthcare services

SarahBosibori ✭✭✭
отредактировано 18. сен 2023, 17:53 Раздел: Physical Disabilities

The deaf community from time to time have been facing barriers when accessing health care services whether it's going to the hospital for check-ups, emergency services and delivery services.

The primary challenge for deaf individuals is communication. Many healthcare providers are not proficient in sign language, which makes it difficult for deaf patients to effectively communicate their symptoms, medical history and concerns. This lack of communication can lead to misdiagnosis or inadequate treatment.

Limited access to information: Deaf individuals often face challenges in accessing healthcare information. This can include difficulties in understanding written materials, lack of access to sign language interpreters or captioning services, and limited availability of healthcare information in accessible formats such as videos with closed captions or sign language interpretation.

Literacy or training deaf on maternal healthcare, Deaf mothers lack health literacy including midwives and have a lack of deaf awareness. For deaf women, during pregnancy, birth and postnatal periods, this can mean having longer hospital stays and more complex postnatal care needs in both the hospital and community setting. There's also a barrier in terms of the advanced nature of signing for instance the word positive can bear two meanings for example; as a pregnancy test the positive means the person is pregnant and it can be interpreted well but it can be different for a positive HIV/AIDS and it can be hard to interpret it due to it being a bit advanced.

Due to limited access to interpreters, some deaf individuals are forced to pay for the services of an interpreter to assist them when they need to access healthcare services. Proper insurance covers as well can be tedious to obtain.

Which other barriers have you heard or come across?

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  • BKiwu
    BKiwu ✭✭✭✭✭

    It would also be a barrier for them to access mental health services since most counsellors are not familiar with sign language. I think sign language should be integrated into the medical training system of our country.