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DWAI facilitates COVID-19 vaccination of over 100 Deaf women

TQM Report,

Deaf Women Aloud Initiative in collaboration MACH Care Initiative (MCI) facilitated the COVID-19 vaccination of over 100 deaf women.

The milestone happened during a medical outreach and awareness organized by DWAI at National Hospital Trauma Centre, Abuja on Tuesday 7th December, 2021 as one of the organization’s activities to mark the International Day for Persons With Disabilities 2021.

The Executive Director of DWAI and The National President of Deaf Women Association of Nigeria ( DWAN), Hellen Beiyoku-Alase told TQM that the event is to promote the healthcare of deaf women and also to create awareness on sexual based violence.

“Health is wealth but sadly there is no access to healthcare services by Deaf women because of communication barrier in the hospital and also the attitude of health providers”.

The COVID-19 vaccination, most of Deaf Women are not not even aware about it, and there has been a lot of misinformation about it which made some of them think that if they take, they are going to die. These gaps are there because of communication barrier.

“That’s why we decided to organize a medical outreach to get our Deaf Women vaccinated and again a lot of them are not aware, we had to educate them first and clear their doubts about the vaccine”

“Some of them don’t know about their health status at all because of communication barrier so we also exposed them to HIV test, examining their blood pressure (BP) and we got support from IPAS and MCI (MASH Care Initiative) to make the event possible”.

“We have close to 100 Deaf Women receiving the services and more of them are still coming” she told TQM when she was asked how many of them are receiving the vaccine.

She said that the women were drawn from the six area council and through collaboration with other organizations, a transport fare would be provided for them to ensure that no one is left behind.

Comrade Bunmi Lawal Ayadu, CEO, MACH Care Initiative, MACH means Maternal Adolescent Reproductive and Child Health) speaking to TQM said that MCI is supporting DWAI in their 8th Heath Awareness Day because for universal health coverage to be achieved, healthcare services should be Inclusive including persons with disabilities and the best way to make it happen is to take the healthcare services to the people.

‘The Chairman, Presidential Task force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, recently declared that our target is to achieve 70 percent of Nigerians to be vaccinated. That’s why in this setting we have COVID-19 vaccination going on and we have vaccinated over 100 Deaf Women which is an awesome achievement”

She appreciated the group for accepting the vaccine and she also said that they are being screened on HIV and their BP was also checked.

She advised that essential health care services to be made available for everyone, if the country is serious about achieving SDG, Universal Health Coverage, reduce maternal mortality, which is one reason, the National Hospital is hosting the event free of charge because all hands must be on desk for achieve health for all.

“There should be sign language interpreters in all government hospitals, positioned in any units”.

“Persons With Disabilities should be involved in all health meeting especially on COVID-19 and sign language interpreters should also be present at all the health meeting and briefing. Government is trying but we want government to do more”.

In order to work in accordance with government request to vaccinate at least 70 percent of Nigerians by 2022, we will be reaching out to many other Organizations of Persons With Disabilities to organize more of these kind of exercise on monthly basis targeting at least 2,000 Persons With Disabilities. We will be working also with the FCT government to mark it possible. Having seen the turnout at the pilot event, we are encouraged to do more on this area of COVID-19 vaccination.

The event also witnessed sensitization on Maternal health, Sexual Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence.





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