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People with disabilities appeal to hospitals to hire interpreters

imagePersons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Northern Region have appealed to health authorities to employ the services of interpreters in their facilities.

The disability community said they are also Ghanaians, who pay their taxes and have every right to have access to healthcare services like their able-bodied counterparts.

Their appeal follows several complaints by wives of persons living with disabilities on the difficulties they go through in most hospitals across the country.

The Northern Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf, Mohammed Abdulai, who made the appeal through an interpreter at the presentation of the citizens’ perception survey carried out by the Accountability Unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said it is unfair for their members especially expectant wives to wait at hospitals, without anybody attending to them.

According to the deaf association, the Teaching hospitals in Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi, all have interpreters and are helping disabled persons to access healthcare.

But a field officer of the Accountability Unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Elvis Otoo described the deaf people’s concerns as critical, pointing out that in all the regions the team visited, the issue kept coming up.

Mr Otoo said the hospitals’ major challenge in addressing the problem lies in how to factor in the interpreters into their pay schemes. The ministry, he said, suggested that district assemblies lend a hand in paying interpreters through either two percent share of disability fund or the assemblies’ own internally-generated funds (IGF).

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