By: Saul Pa-a
SAN MATEO, Rizal – Some 60 health workers in Calabarzon are now undergoing a workshop on the use of basic Filipino Sign Language (FSL) for patients with hearing and speaking impairments, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) Calabarzon said on Wednesday.
“Now that we have the Universal Health Care Law and the Filipino Sign Language Law, we now have the legal mandate to mainstream FSL training in government agencies especially among health workers in the health system,” DOH Calabarzon Director Dr. Eduardo Janairo said in a speech.
Health workers, such as medical doctors, nurses, health promotion officers, primary care providers like the barangay health workers (BHWs), are attending the basic FSL training-workshop here from July 3 to 5.
He said knowing the basics in FSL will enable the health workers to convey messages and instructions on health services for deaf clients, diagnose the illness accurately, and provide appropriate treatment.
“Learning the basic FSL will prevent inaccuracy and errors in communication that can pose health risk and liability to health providers,” he said.
Glen Ramos, head of the DOH Calabarzon Media Relations and Communications Unit (MRCU), said the FSL module contains basic signs for communication with patients with hearing difficulties such as the alphabet, numbers, greetings, time, days, months and questions frequently asked during emergencies.
Data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that Calabarzon has the highest number of persons with disabilities (PWDs) with 193,000 followed by the National Capital Region with 167,000; Central Luzon – 139,000; Western Visayas –138,000; and Central Visayas –109,000.
The Cordillera Region has the lowest record at 26,000 PWDs. (PNA)