GADHOH calls for sign language advocacy of Covid-19 vaccine on TVs 

Sep 22, 2022, 12:32 PM | Article By: Adama Tine

Momodou Sanyang, a sign language teacher at Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH), has suggested that to have a lot of deaf people take the jabs, the government should help in making sure that televisions stations in the country, especially GRTS introduce the sign language in advocacy on the covid-19 vaccines.

Sanyang, who took the covid-19 jab, said: “Yes I'm deaf but I always read newspapers and from them I was able to better understand how important taking the vaccine is."

"Not all deaf people can read and understand, but to have us all convinced, we are more au fait with sign language interpretation to better understand and believe. We easily believe it when something is interpreted via sign language."

"After taking the vaccine, I try as much as possible to encourage my students and colleagues that are yet to take the jab to do so without fear. I even snapped my covid-19 vaccine card and shared it in our group chat so that they would all be convinced to also take it,” he posited.

Isatou Manga, a staff of GADHOH, said: “After hearing a lot of negative information and misconceptions about taking the covid-19 jab, I decided to embrace it because I believe in our Health Ministry as well WHO. And to be able to encourage my family to take the vaccine, I thought it very wise to be exemplary."

She explained that before taking that jab, she came across some victims that were close to her family. She disclosed that even at her office level there was another victim. "Coming across those people, I was convinced and motivated to take the vaccine in order to put my health at the best condition, my family and my friends.”

After taking the jab, she began to convince her mother, siblings and even her friends at GADHOH to also take the jab while rubbishing the misconceptions about the vaccines. "Since I took the jab, I have never felt or suspected any sort of complication on my health and therefore, I am urging everyone to take the vaccine."

Dodou Touray, IT officer at the GADHOH head office, said after the coming of the virus, the world has been talking about it with the fear of new global challenges such as the economy and health. He said the pandemic suspended a lot of activities of people ranging from their daily routines to the interactions. 

However, Touray added that during that peak of the pandemic, he was unable to go to work as a result of the fear and misinformation surrounding the pandemic.

Mr. Touray revealed that his taking of the vaccine was encouraged by BBC and CNN news on the vaccines.

"Although there have been a lot of misconceptions over taking the jab, but because I wanted to protect myself, my family and those around me, I had to take it," he noted.

"Although a lot of people; both hearing and hard of hearing are yet to take the jabs; however, I think it's very ideal and important to take the vaccine for self protection,” adding it is “meant to protect the people you interact with at home, at workplaces and at public places like in the markets, play grounds, and even in public transportations."

Gibril Gando Baldeh, a senior health officer, Directorate of Health Promotion and Education under the Ministry of Health, said the vaccines have proven their effectiveness as they have reduced the number of hospitalisations and deaths.

However, he urged people to get vaccinated, whilst noting that the vaccination is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that people should embrace the vaccines without fear.

This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), through its Mobilising Media partner Kaba Communications in the Fight Against COVID-19 in partnership with The Point.