The Director of Hope for the Deaf has asserted that the deaf and other disabled are exposed to more suffering since the outbreak of the horrific Ebola virus in the country.
David T. Worlubah, speaking to this newspaper while preparing to go to Kakata for an awareness program on Ebola in deaf communities, said, “These deaf people are already neglected by people in their homes and communities, causing them to feel inferior and deprived. But since the outbreak of Ebola, people tend to shout more harshly at them to comply with the Ebola prevention rules announced by health authorities and to obey curfew hours.”
According to him, the deaf are ridiculed when they try to express uncertainty or concerns about the Ebola epidemic.
This negative treatment of the disabled by some members of the public increases their vulnerability, Mr. Worlubah said. Because of this negative behavior towards the disabled, Worlubah said Hope for the Deaf was taking the initiative to train a group of deaf and other disabled persons to reach out to their friends with information about preventing Ebola.
In spite of their increased vulnerability as a result of the Ebola pandemic, Mr. Worlubah said there have not been any Ebola deaths reported among deaf persons registered with his organization.
“Well, God is good and every condition has its own advantage. Since people do not associate with the deaf or disabled in general, they are not threatened by the disease as a result of touching and none of them has died because of Ebola since the outbreak,” he declared.
Mr. Worlubah further emphasized that the continued closure of schools as a result of the outbreak is causing more problems for the deaf and Liberian students in general, noting that it will cause a decline in their academic progress.
He further stressed that the deaf will feel more neglected because it is only at school where they can socialize with their friends and feel a part of society.
Mr. Worlubah disclosed that the Deaf Ebola Awareness training which took place in Kakata on October 30 was funded by churches in Sweden and Germany to get the deaf involved in the Ebola awareness campaign and to enable them to pass on Ebola prevention messages to their peers.