Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs Assessment with Deaf People in Ghana
Mprah, Wisdom K.
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The purpose of this study was to identify the Sexual and Reproductive Health (S&RH) needs of the Deaf community in Ghana who communicate in the Ghanaian Sign Language (GLS). The study was a participatory needs assessment, utilizing the Concerns Report Method (CRM) as the framework. The study utilized a two-phase, sequential, mixed methods design, consisting of three focus groups to assist in the development of a survey followed by a needs assessment survey. Personal observations, review of documents, discussions with a S&RH professional were conducted to clarify data from the focus groups and survey. A total of 179 participants were involved in the study, of which 26 were focus group participants and152 were survey respondents. One S&RH professional served as a key informant. All participants, except for the key informant, were members of the Deaf community and were considered well informed about issues in the community. Study findings indicated that deaf people’s level of knowledge on many S&RH issues was marginal and many unmet S&RH needs were reported and associated with communication, institutional, and attitudinal barriers that limited their access to vital S&RH information and services. Lack of accessible information was compounded by the high illiteracy rate in the Deaf community. While the findings suggest that the S&RH needs of the Deaf community in Ghana were not different from the general population, the assessment revealed unique