Saturday, February 8, 2020

Committee considering patient’s charter for persons with disability

A Technical Committee set up by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is considering developing a charter to guide medical professionals in handling persons with disability in the hospitals

The Charter supposed to protect the rights of persons with disability at the hospitals will enable medical professionals better understand persons with disabilities and how to treat or manage them when they need medical attention.

The idea to develop a patient’s charter for persons with disability was mooted when members of the Technical Committee discussed a draft legislative instrument that looks at access to health services.

Dr Augustina Naami of the Department of Social Work at the University of Ghana, said most often than not medical doctors focus on the disability of the person and not the ailment or the complaint which the person came with, which usually resulted in avoidable fatalities for the person with disability.

Dr Samuel Kaba Akoriyea, chairman of the Technical Committee and also in charge of Institutional Care Division at the Ghana Health Service, said having a patient’s charter for persons with disabilities is something that can be done.

He said his outfit will liaise with the National Council on Persons with Disability to develop a charter that will promote better understanding on disability at the hospital.

The legislative Instrument is considering among others the need for health professionals to provide care of the same quality to persons with disability as to others, including the basis of free and informed consent, raising awareness of the human rights, dignity, autonomy and needs of persons with disability through training and promulgation of ethical standards for public and private health care.

WAEC accepts oral response in examination

 Mr Alex Amankwah in charge of Specific Learning Disorders at the Ghana Education Service has revealed that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) accepts oral responses from students unable to write due to disability.

He said provisions are made to accommodate students with special educational needs in examination to enable them compete with their counterparts without disabilities.

Mr Amankwah made this known at a Technical Committee Meeting to review Ghana’s Disability Law on Friday.

The Technical Committee set up by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is tasked to review the Persons with Disability Act and prepare an accompanying Legislative Instrument for 
submission to parliament.

Mr Amankwah explained that for students who cannot write due to disability are given an alternative to record their responses or answers on audio which is later transcribed for the examiner.
He said for students with special educational needs to benefit from this, they must go through assessment at the Ghana Education Service assessment centres.

“A report from the Assessment centre is sent to the school which is further sent to the Municipal, Regional and National offices of the Ghana Education service to be sent to WAEC,”

“WAEC then is able to adequately prepare for the student during the examination, special concessions are made where necessary to give the students ample time etc.,” Mr Amankwah added.

He said the GES Special Education Division also has concessions to place students with special educational needs in schools which is appropriate for them to ensure a smooth furthering of their education.

The Technical Committee reviewing the disability law also discussed proper certification for students who attend special needs schools and sometimes do not get any certificate for their effort for being in school.

Ms Esther Akua Gyamfi, Executive Secretary at the National Council on Persons with Disability, said there should be a system in place to recognize the efforts of children with special educational needs who go to school for a number of years and sometimes pass out without a certificate because of their disabilities.

“Many regular schools refuse to register children with disabilities for the West African Examination Council,” so the children stay in school for a number of years without any recognition for their efforts of being in school.
She said putting in place a system of certification for children with disabilities or special educational needs will further enhance the community development and involvement for persons with disabilities.