Grand Challenge, Canada, in partnership with the Ghana National Association of the Deaf has launched an 18months innovative project that seeks to promote access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information and Services for Deaf people in 6 less developed districts in Ghana. The innovative seeks to adopt alternative form of communication to reach 630 deaf people, particular deaf youth and adolescent of reproductive age with information on SRH in Central, Upper West and Eastern Regions of Ghana.
Under the undertaking, GNAD will establish a database on special needs; achieve 50% increase in access to SRH information, contraceptive usage and increase in district health centres offering deaf friendly services. The beneficiary districts include the Cape Coast Municipal, the Agona West Municipal, Wa Municipal, Nadowli/Kaleo district, Akwapim North and New Juaben Municipal.
Collectively, the Eastern, Upper West and Central Regions have six special schools for the deaf of which 3 primary and one High School will benefit from the Grand Challenge Innovation alongside the deaf communities within these districts. Though the six districts have significant number of GNAD members, they have limited access to SRH information and services.
Ghana has made significant progress in healthcare compared to other countries in the sub-region. In addition, NGO activity around SRH has been on the increase in recent years. Despite these tremendous gains, the deaf community remains largely excluded. In addition to lack of specialized support services for the deaf community, communication barriers have limited the extent to which deaf people can benefit from mainstreaming SRH information and services. Nevertheless, their activities rarely target the deaf community as a result of language barriers.
The GCC project is thus part of comprehensive intervention by the Ghana National Association of the Deaf to ensure that the country’s over 110,625 deaf people have access to quality information and services on their sexual and reproductive health.