HEAlthcaRe needs of the Deaf (HEARD)
Deaf individuals face tremendous challenges when accessing healthcare, with many reporting errors in diagnosis, management, and medication. The provision of sign language interpreters (SLI) for healthcare consultations is not a legislation in Malaysia. Furthermore, the shortage of interpreters and communication barriers has led to the under-utilization of healthcare services in this country. Deaf individuals also have lower health literacy levels compared to their hearing counterparts, putting them at a higher risk for health problems and resulting in lower health status and poorer health outcomes.
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences (JCSMHS) together with Schools of Pharmacy and IT at Monash Malaysia and with our community partners; the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf (MFD) & the Malaysian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (myASLI), have spearheaded a number of projects to address the above challenges.
Our overarching aim is to ultimately improve the health outcomes of this largely underserved community.