Health practitioners have begun taking positive steps towards catering for people with special needs.
Moore than 60 health workers, including other people drawn from different domains, converged for a sign language training at Marondera General hospital last week.
The program which was initiated by counsellors and conducted free of charge by Sunrise Sign Language Academy is aimed at bridging communication gap between health professionals and those who have special needs like the deaf.
Officially opening the learning session, Provincial Medical Superintendent Dr Celestilo Dhege stressed the need to have sign language included in nurses training curriculum.
“Sign language is very important especially in the medical field considering that 75 percent of our diagnosis comes from history taking hence it is important to include sign language in the curriculum,” he said.
Tinotenda Matinyarare a participant who is deaf expressed joy to this new dawn in the medical fraternity and highlighted that it will ease most of the challenges she used to face when visiting the hospital.
“lam happy as the programme will help us in communities at as a country at large because we face a lot of challenges as nurses and doctors cannot communicate with us and at the same time there are no interpreters in these medical institutions which normally leads to wrong diagnosis,” she said.
The Chairman and founder of the academy Douglas Mapeta promised to continue offering such trainings until there is good communication.
“We are here to help the people of Zimbabwe since we have seen that in the health fraternity the deaf and those with special needs are dying because no one knows their language or have special needs appreciation”.