Montfort Special Needs Education College has trained 75 medical staff in sign language to ease communication between the staff and patients with hearing impairment.
The 75—comprising 34 males and 41 females—were drawn from Mangochi, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Mzimba and Rumphi districts.
“There is usually communication breakdown when a patient with a hearing impairment goes to hospital and usually, a third party is used. The training, which was funded by National Aids Commission [NAC], was, thus, designed to enhance patients’ privacy by eliminating the third party,” said project coordinator Hasten Zakeyu.
He said the training will particularly assist people with hearing impairment currently on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) as they will ably get instructions on the administration of the drugs.
Zakeyu said the training was aligned to the 90:90:90 target of having 90 percent of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their status, 90 percent of those known to be HIV positive initiated on ART and 90 percent of those on ART retained.
The participants hailed Montfort College and NAC for the training, saying it has brought a positive impact to their work as they will now ably communicate with patients with visual impairments without involving a third party.
Malawi adopted the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) to achieve the 90:90:90 target by 2020. n