Asia-Pacific Jun 27, 2012
PHILIPPINES: The Department of Health-National Capital Region on Thursday said it would train healthcare providers on basic sign language to help them deal with and care for persons with disabilities, particularly those with speaking and hearing disabilities.
“Communication is a vital component of ensuring effective delivery of healthcare services and healthcare providers must [have a knowledge of sign language] for them to render effective and quality care [to these] patients,” Dr. Eduardo Janairo, DoH regional director, said in a statement.
According to him, this will allow both parties to communicate effectively and ensure that no one misunderstands the information coming from the other side.
Janairo said that inaccurate information could pose risks to persons with disabilities health and leave the health provider liable.
According to the health department, more than 90 percent of the people with hearing disabilities in the country are born to parents who are deaf. As a result, they grow up without learning any language—whether spoken or through hand signals.
In 2004, there were 8.4 million persons with disabilities in the country while those with hearing and speech disabilities totaled 87,809.
The World Health Organization estimated that in 2000, 250 million persons worldwide with hearing disabilities—about 4.2 percent of the world’s population. Two-thirds of the cases were from developing countries such as the Philippines. Of the total, 222 million were adults while the rest were under 15 years old.