MINISTRY OF HEALTH HOST TWO DAY WORKSHOP ON HIV ANTI STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE SETTINGS
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services through its Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit hosted a 2-day workshop on Anti Stigma and Discrimination in Health Care Settings. The trainings took place in Grand Turk and Providenciales on the 17th and 18th of October respectively. Health care workers from around the Turks and Caicos Islands including those in the private sector benefitted from the training. The training was supported by Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Stigma and discrimination are inescapable features of society. When placed in the context of HIV and AIDS, stigma and the consequent discrimination remain major barriers for People Living with HIV and AIDS – this includes access to treatment and care. These remain impediments in our response to reverse the spread of the epidemic.
Combating stigma and discrimination in Health Care settings is critical, reduction seminars and workshops such as the two day workshops hosted by the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit, according to research goes a long way toward mitigating this trend. This is the second such workshop for the year hosted by the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit. The Turks and Caicos Islands are well on the way to reducing and eliminating stigma and discrimination within health care settings.
“This issue affects both health care workers and users of health care services. As we move towards accomplishing the targets of ending AIDS by 2030, achieving the 90 90 90 targets by 2020, eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis and also achieving the global non communicable disease target by 2025 it is critical that we address stigma and discrimination within our health care settings,” stated Aldora Robinson Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit.
Mrs. Desiree Lewis, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services in declaring the workshop open stated; “Let us be mindful of others and to treat others as we would want to be treated. Removing the barriers and the perceptions that cause us to judge and pass sentences on persons. We must ALL remember that HIV is no respecter of persons it crosses all nationalities, colour, status, beliefs, age and gender. As we move forward our patient centered cared initiative let us be mindful, show compassion, with our health in all policies initiative we encourage other government ministries and agencies along with the private sector to examine their policies as it relates to stigma and discrimination.”
For more information, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 3382772.
There are currently initiatives within the region to reduce the levels of stigma and discrimination to make sure that persons living with HIV can access treatment and care in a less stigmatized environment especially within health care settings.