Lack of proficiency in using languages (except sign languages) among people with hearing impairment poses difficulties for them to comprehend health-related information and thus, having low health literacy. To bridge this gap, health care providers adopt various communication practices to reach people with hearing impairment (HI), some of which prove success while others prove failure. Consequently, reflection on health literacy communications becomes paramount for the sustainability of health education for people with HI. The present study reflects on communication practices during Covid-19 pandemic control in Tanzania contexts in relation to people with hearing impairment. The study adopted a qualitative research approach in which the data were collected through interviews from five (5) people with HI obtained through a snowball sampling technique, and three (3) health care providers who were purposively sampled. Findings showed that adopted communication practices (writing on papers, lip-reading, and using family members as interpreters) were perceived as less effective by people with hearing impairment. Instead, people with HI preferred communication from other sources that used sign language. Therefore, calls for healthcare providers’ pre-service and in-service training programs to impart skills for communicating properly with HI to all healthcare providers.
Saimon M* and Mtenzi F