Deaf pharmacist offers medical counseling service for the Deaf with support from hearing colleagues

Shibata Masahiko (left) and his hearing colleagues
A booth to offer a counseling service to Deaf clients.
 August 19, 2013

Working for a pharmacy or a hospital as a pharmacist in Osaka, Shibata Masahiko (柴田昌彦), who is born deaf, gives a lecture on how to use a medicine properly in sign language, or holds the medicine consultation meeting for the Deaf. He is continuing the activity which supports the Deaf person especially with weak literary skills.

A booth for the medical counseling service was set up in one corner in the hall of the Hyogo Deaf Conference held in Kobe early in June.

Nine Deaf persons visited the booth on the day.  Shibata and three hearing pharmacists who excelled in sign language responded to their questions about the use of medicine by turns.

Most of the Deaf clients said: "I have taken the same medicine for many years, and I don't know if it is correct. I feel very uneasy."

Shibata explains, "If the Deaf patient comes to a hospital or clinic, a medical worker tends to think that what is necessary is just to write, but that is not right. A person born Deaf is rather poor at writing and reading."

For example, the Deaf person does not understand medical terms, such as 'three times per day after a meal and 2 doses per time."  

However, many Deaf persons can communicate smoothly in sign language, even if weak at writing and reading.

Shibata says, "So I always wished to support those Deaf people to understand what direction was given about the medicine. A pharmacist must to explain a medicinal thing exactly to them."

Japanese source:

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