HomeLocal NewsNurses, police undergo sign language training

Nurses, police undergo sign language training

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BY OBERT SIAMILANDU/NHAU MANGIRAZI

A CIVIC organisation, Smile Action International, has rolled out a sign language training programme for nurses to ensure inclusion in the provision of health services for people with disabilities (PWDs).

This follows concerns that PWDs were failing to access social services because of communication challenges.

Smile Action International founder and director Tatenda Mamina told NewsDay Weekender that sign language training will also target civil servants to promote inclusion and access of social services for PWDs.

“This is to promote inclusion be it in the hospitals, police stations, courts, among others, because we have realised that someone can come with a disability and may need assistance and the nurse is not be able to assist because of communication challenges,” Mamina said.

On Thursday, stakeholders attending a meeting facilitated by Deaf Women Included, held in Karoi, raised concern that PWDs were having challenges in accessing basic services.

“The majority of people with disabilities are failing to access basic rights in education, health, and social, among others, due to economic challenges affecting their well-being,’’ Baptism of Fire director Sikhumbuzo Sibanda said.

District medical rehabilitation technician Bongani Nkomo said failure to communicate in sign language by office bearers was not helping matters.

‘‘Few of gatekeepers at Zimbabwe Republic Police, ministries and other government departments are being trained to communicate with PWDs. This has been a challenge and more people must be trained to communicate in languages PWDs uderstand in order to help them get access to services,” Nkomo said.

Deaf Women Included director Agnes Chindimba said: “We need to strengthen our reporting pathways so that PWDs can access services as they have rights like everyone else.”

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