NATIONAL ADVOCACY ON T AND I HEALTH RIGHTS 2017
Updated: Feb 5, 2018
The Dialogue brought together members of the T & I community, Health Care providers, a faith leader and a legal practitioner. The dialogue helped lessen the gap between the service provider and the service seeker. It has been recognized that it is this gap that propels attitudes of prejudice among both health care providers and members of the T & I community. Additionally, a space was created where health care providers freely expressed some concerns they have in treating members of the T & I community. In response to one of the concerns, the legal expert present at the dialogue shared and stressed that the challenge with service providers including health care providers, police officers and even the general public is that the law is misinterpreted and/ or understood. This leads to harassment of T and I persons which translates to a violation of their human rights and also presents a barrier to their access to health services as the health care providers usually discriminate against them. He added that there is no law that criminalizes health care providers for providing services to T and I persons and as such they have legal protection.
At the end of the dialogue, health care providers were called upon to not be gender insensitive as gender dynamics are here to stay. It was further mentioned that when someone identifies themselves as one gender and yet present physical attributes of the other gender, the onus is on health care providers to ensure that they are not harassed and receive rights based and comprehensive health care. Furthermore, the health care providers were requested to assist TBZ with identifying other progressive health care providers from other health centres using a snow ball process considering the conservative nature of the society, for further collaboration with TBZ and ultimately to enhance access to services.