Talks on human rights

2015-11-11 06:00
DIFFERENT stakeholders attended the Key Population Summit on health and human rights at the Kalahari Lodge. Photo: Boipelo Mere

DIFFERENT stakeholders attended the Key Population Summit on health and human rights at the Kalahari Lodge. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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A SUMMIT

on health and human rights, which focused on what is termed “key population,” was held by different Northern Cape stakeholders and the Anova Health Institute.

It took place at the Kalahari Lodge on Friday (06/11).

The term “key population” includes gays, lesbians and sex workers who have more of or a higher risk of contracting HIV/Aids.

The summit was opened by the executive mayor of the Frances Baard District Municipality, Kgadi Moloi.

Giving presentations were Dr Allaister Kantani, Paula Makatisi (secretary of the Aids council in the province), Banti Gasebuse of the Health Department, Pam Hendricks of the Department of Social Development and Albert Ikhile, who is the project manager for Anova.

Moloi assured the summit of their full support as a district municipality and cautioned them against excluding other members of the community as they were the ones perpetuating the stereotypes and stigmatising the key population.

Makatisi encouraged the summit to work with government to realise the goal of reaching zero infections of HIV.

Gasebuse sang the praises of the work of Anova and reported that Betty Gaetsewe is a model clinic.

Gasebuse explained that they had 19 such facilities in the Frances Baard District, of which their challenges included not having mobile clinical care, lack of transport and failure to ensure that the sites were operating 24 hours a day.

Hendricks gave a slide lecture of the affected areas in the Northern Cape, while Ikhile explained that Anova was a diverse organisation that dealt with many health aspects.

He highlighted that in the Northern Cape, Anova concentrated on key population through the Health 4 Men Programme.

According to Ikhile, this programme commenced in 2013 with the Department of Health in the Northern Cape creating competent sites in health facilities to deal with proper care of the key population.

“Our programme is to train 75% of clinic staff of which 65% of that should be nurses and doctors.

“We conduct two types of training in two days.

“The first training is on the psycho-social issues regarding the key population.

“The second training is biome-dical training for health workers or nurses and doctors.

“Anova leaves the trainees with a mentor who mentors the individuals for eight hours and that is followed up with technical assistance,” said Ikhile.

He further explained that apart from the 19 facilities in the Frances Baard District, they had trained personnel of 11 facilities in Pixley ka Seme and hoped to move to other districts of the province. They will then move to private practices and clinics. Ikhile said all these programmes were funded by the Global Fund.

Delegates grouped into commissions to discuss topics under the human rights and legal frameworks that covered stigma, hate crimes, homophobia and gender-based violence, such as violence towards young girls, women, the disabled and old persons.

Other topics discussed were HIV/Aids, sexually-transmitted infections, tuberculosis and treatment support.

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