Disability: any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions). 1
A patient enters the hospital for a consultation. The doctor attending to him asks, ‘Unamwa na wapi?’ But the patient can’t hear what the doctor is asking. He signs that he is deaf, and once the doctor understands this, the search begins for a sign language interpreter. Sometimes this can take hours, especially in a facility like Kenyatta National Hospital where there are only two interpreters, neither of whom are doctors. Having had to endure the wait, unwell, tired and frustrated, the patient now describes in sign language what his symptoms are. And the interpreter narrates this to the doctor. However, often much is lost in translation, and the likelihood of a misdiagnosis in this instance is higher than if the doctor were equipped to get the symptoms directly from the patient.