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Gov't turning a deaf ear to our plight, people living with hearing impairment say

Persons living with hearing impairment have decried marginalization by the government by what they term as missing crucial reproductive health services due to lack  of interpreters in the health facilities.
People living with hearing impairment hold a peaceful procession in Embu town. They protested against their discrimination while accessing public services in hospitals and police stations.MWINGI TIMES|Brian Musyoka

While speaking during a sensitization walk in Embu town, they said it was unfortunate that they could not access crucial services in the hospitals because the government had ignored their call to have interpreters in hospitals who will take care of their medical issues once they visit the facilities for services calling for training of health workers on sign language.

Mr Charles Kinyua Kinyua who led the people living with hearing impairment in a peaceful procession said many deaf people were being hampered from accessing healthcare in facilities due to lack of interpretors as they could not fully understand medical care.

"The sexual reproductive health for the young deaf people has been ignore in terms of targeting. We are here to encourage both the county and national government to consider the deaf people in hospitals and enable them to get information on sexual reproductive health," he said.

Kinyua noted that many have been held back due to communication barrier a trend that he said was subjecting deaf people to untold suffering.

They further revealed that they suffer more in case of defilement or rape because they can't be  understood when reporting the matter in police stations saying getting also proper service there was a problem.

They stated that they were in dire need of interpretors in all the sectors so that they can have their issues addressed appropriately.

Further, they urged the County Government of Embuto also consider involving hearing impaired people in the County Integrated Development Plan making so that they can have their issues included in the development plan.

Collins Ocholla stated as people living with hearing impairment, they were being discriminated in the society and marginalized because of their status saying it's time to call off the practice.

He said there is need to have nurses go through sign language training in order to understand when dealing with people living with hearing impairment once they visit the hospitals.

"Some issues are confidential and when we visit hospitals with hired interpretors we cannot explain ourselves well but if the nurses and health workers have knowledge on sign language some confidential information that we cannot tell we will be able to get help,"he said.

Ms Brenda Mugonyi urged the government to take serious the affairs of the  hearing impaired people and stop the suffering they have been going through.


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