The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) has urged both state and non-state actors to address the information gap facing deaf women and adolescent girls, particularly in accessing information on Menstrual Health Management (MHM).
“GNAD wishes to state that the major challenge deaf women and girls face in managing their menstruation is communication. Thus, all efforts to address their MHM needs must consider their unique communication needs,” Executive Director of GNAD, Mr Juventus Duorinaah, said.
This was contained in a statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency to commemorate International Day of MHM under the theme, “We Are Committed,”
The theme of the statement demonstrated the commitment of the global community to ensuring that MHM challenges of women and adolescent girls were addressed.
Mr Duorinaah observed that despite the great strides made in the field of adolescents’ health and women’s rights, studies showed that less attention was given to MHM needs of adolescent girls and women in the country.
“Information on sexual and reproductive health issues, including those on menstrual hygiene, is often not provided in accessible formats such as the inclusion of sign language interpreters or sub-titles,” he said.
To complicate issues, he indicated that 90 percent of deaf children were born to hearing parents, most of whom were unable to communicate properly with their deaf children to assist them to get accurate information on menstruation.
The GNAD, therefore, appealed to the National Communication Authority (NCA) to ensure a national minimum standard of accessibility for all media content by engaging all media houses to provide sub-titles for information on sexual reproductive health.
Also, “The Ministry of Health and its relevant agencies must ensure that the provision of sexual reproductive health services is based on disaggregated disability data so that individual categories with disabilities can be effectively targeted with customized services.”
Mr Duorinaah said the strategy would help to bridge the information accessibility gap faced by adolescent girls and women in the country.
In so doing, the overall well-being of deaf women and adolescent girls would improve, he said, adding that the country would also record improved attendance to school and learning outcomes due to the accessibility of proper MHM information.
GNAD serves as the mouthpiece of the deaf people and works to ensure that every deaf person in Ghana enjoys the right to a life of dignity.