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Seychelles : 12 caregivers trained in sign language

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Seychelles : 12 caregivers trained in sign language

Making healthcare accessible to everyone

For the first time in Seychelles, 12 healthcare providers have successfully completed sign language courses. These certificates, received at the end of December 2023, will help improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people with hearing impairments.

The 12 healthcare providers who took up the challenge are Nathalie Mathiot, Lise Agricole, Dora Mousbe, Beryl Valentin, Josette Souffe, Elmanda Ernesta, Véronique Siméon, Vereine Louis Marie and Nicole Esther. The training, run by the Association des Personnes Malentendantes over a six-month period (July-December), helps to break down communication barriers and improve access to health services nationwide. Beryl Valentin, head of the sexual and reproductive health program, says: « Communication barriers are a challenge faced by people with hearing loss, and have an impact on their access to primary healthcare services. As part of global, continental, regional and national efforts to close equity gaps for vulnerable groups and ensure inclusion in development efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Global Sustainable Development ».

Comprehensive training program

Nathalie Mathiot, nurse midwife at the English River Health Center, shared that learning sign language was no easy feat. « At first our hands were heavy, but with practice we got the hang of it. It’s very important for us to know sign language because we’ll be able to communicate with hearing-impaired people and they’ll be able to come to the clinic on their own ».

The comprehensive training program covered a variety of topics, including basic sign language communication, cultural sensitivity and healthcare terminology related to sexual and reproductive health. This specific project was part of the United Nations Population Fund’s 2023 work plan. This program is in line with Seychelles’ strategic direction on universal health coverage planned between 2022 and 2026.

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