Disability inclusive communication and access to information on drugs and medicines for hard of hearing as well as deaf clients is critical to ensuring access to quality health care services and essential medicines for all during COVID 19. Purple Signs is an ITU-award winning mobile phone based platform which enables prescriptions, diagnosis, and drug and health information to be communicated in African Nation Sign Languages, and which is set to allow medical professionals to communicate with deaf patients using multiple African National Sign languages with Purple Signs Sign language translation mobile applications .
As the world battles against COVID 19, Purple Signs has taken the opportunity to make a contribution by driving the enhancement of the rights of the deaf in Zimbabwe and Africa at large to health, freedom of expression, education, access to information and non-discrimination in general using low-cost, high-scale and high impact mobile phone ICT technologies. Android, IOS, DVD and computer application versions have been developed. If the deaf do not learn the standard health care Sign Language variety for the country and if non-deaf (hearing) members of the medical community have no knowledge of Sign Language, then the deaf will not enjoy any of the rights to quality healthcare they are entitled to.
The Purple Signs ‘Sign language translation‘ platform allows live translation of audio to text to Zimbabwean Sign Language video and vice versa for effective real time high quality health care communication, and it is being translated into the 15 official languages of Zimbabwe native to Africa . This promotes improved patient experience, the right to health and equal access to health information for sustainable development in line with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), United Nations development goals on quality health education, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities promoting good health and wellbeing, using partnerships for attainment of these goals. The Purple Signs team continues to welcome support in its endeavour to end inequality of access to information as well as communication barriers for the deaf in Africa and around the world during and post- COVID 19.
For more on our work toward universal inclusive access to services in health, education, justice and tourism using mobile ICTs follow the link below: