Thematic area 1: HEALTH
Program goal: To advocate for inclusive health services & SRHR for deaf persons in Rwanda
The health program seeks to answer the following questions:
- To what extent have the involvement of deaf persons and capacity development of young leaders with disabilities, organizations for persons with disabilities and the SRH providers in public and primary clinics opened space for participation and improved access to SRHR?
- To what extent have the policies, strategies and programs of the national government and Development Partners in Health changed to include the SRHR needs of deaf persons?
- Are there observable indicators for change of practices in the provision of SRHR commodities, services and education by private companies, Ministries of Health and the non-governmental organizations?
Deaf Persons have the same sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) needs as other people. Yet they often face barriers to information and services. The ignorance and attitudes of society and individuals, including health-care providers, raise most of these barriers – not the disabilities themselves. In fact, existing services in Rwanda usually can be adapted easily to accommodate deaf persons. Increasing awareness is the first and biggest step. Beyond that, much can be accomplished through resourcefulness and involving deaf persons in program design and monitoring. On 3 May 2008 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force. This is the first legally binding international treaty on disability. It mentions SRHR specifically.
The program addresses the following key concerns that will include:
- Establishment of partnerships with coalition groups with RNUD.
- Raise awareness and increase accessibility in-house. Attention to the needs of deaf persons as an integral part of our current work.
- To ensure that SRHR programs and social policies reach and serve deaf persons.
- To address deaf persons issues in national SRHR policy, laws, and budgets.
- To promote research on the SRHR of deaf persons.
The expected outcomes of the programme is: 1) inclusive policy and legal framework and strategies targeting deaf persons 2) improved access to SRHR resources, information and services tailored towards the needs of deaf persons.3) Stronger & more inclusive disability movements for SRHR in Rwanda.