GULU HEALTH WORKERS MISS SIGN LANGUAGE TRAINING

Bonny Odong, the programmes officer, teaches a female prisons staff how to use sign language

BY WALTER KUMIRA

GULU: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2021

Gulu Women with disabilities Union (GUWODU) hopes of bridging the communication gap between the health workers and deaf patients have been dealt a blow as none of the health workers showed up for the free training.

The three days training on basic sign language skills started on Monday and ends today (Wednesday).

It was attended by parents of Children with hearing impairments, Health workers, and Security officials like the Police, Army, and Prisons together with district officials.

Teddy Aciro Luwar, the Chairperson of GUWODU, said the training was meant to equip the different stakeholders with the knowledge of sign language interpretation in order to bridge the missing communications gap between them and people with hearing impairments.

Aciro who doubles as the chairperson of women with disabilities in Acholi sub-region, said she was disappointed by the no-show of the health workers for the training yet they were the major focus for the programme.

Bonny Francis Odong, the Programs Manager of the organization, said the absence of the health workers for the training will worsen the ongoing existing communication gap between the health workers and people with hearing impairments.

Odong explained that their findings between 2019/2020 financial year in the four districts of Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro shows that over 95% of the government aided health facilities do not have sign language interpreters.

“This has greatly affected service delivery to people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired patients,” he said.

However Dr Kenneth Cana, the acting district health officer for Gulu blamed the absence of medical works on late communication of the training programme by the organisers.

However other participants from the different departments who managed to attend the sessions have appreciated the initiative and pledged total commitment to use the skills learnt into practice to better their work in the different field of operations.

Jacqueline Aloyo, the Senior Labour Officer of Gulu district, said the training was very timely and promised to put what she has learnt into practice so that it helps her in coordinating with clients.

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