Rwanda Military Hospital Kanombe has started offering speech therapy to complement its ear, nose and throat (ENT) department.
Claire Cahoon, a speech and language therapist at the hospital, said speech therapy is the maximisation of people’s communication skills in order to make them communicate to the best of their ability.
“The patients are diagnosed for inability to grasp issues, for example, in children who take long to talk, and people with stammering problems, those who suffer from stroke or head injuries. It’s not only communication through speech but also drawings, writing and gestures,” Cahoon said.
She said for the last two months of the service, she has seen 10 patients who she follows closely to monitor their abilities and most of these are children with stammering cases.
“I keep track on how these people interact, how they order for things in markets, how they play,” Cahoon said.
Recovery depends on the extent of one’s stroke or head injury; some people fail to recover completely, the therapist added.
“If someone can’t hear, in most cases they can’t speak to, before it was a hard issue to deal with but now we have found a solution to it,” said Dr Eugene Twagirumukiza, the head of ENT department at the hospital.
He said this is an opportunity that people should grab with two hands because it is also covered by community health insurance, commonly known as Mutuelle de Santé.