In September 2020, Intrahealth Namibia through the KP-STAR project in collaboration with Alkimia consultation conducted a three-day online workshop. The training targeted 150 Health Care Workers (HCW’s) who serve the key populations (KP’s) in 10 high priority regions. The aim of the workshop was targeted at supporting HCW’s to be able to give empathetic and appropriate care to people who make up the specific key populations of men who have sex with men, transgender men, transgender women and sex workers supported by a job aid and information poster.
During the training health care workers were reminded of the health needs and risks, particular vulnerabilities to HIV and aspects of healthcare that block or enable these groups to access health care services.
Rather than deep attitude change, this workshop focused on acknowledging the high levels of workload and responsibility placed on healthcare professionals along with restricted resources and making allowance for micro-moments of connection with patients. With a focus on empathy, this process encourages and enables healthcare professionals towards honouring their oaths to treat all patients with dignity, respect, and care.
The workshop was a huge success and feedback has primarily consisted of HCW’s expressing a deep desire to be more inclusive and to share their new-found knowledge with co-workers. We hope that this leads to people who fall under key populations being able to access health care services more regularly in an environment that is safe, gives them the correct care and which acknowledges the need for respect and dignity of all human beings irrespective of their gender preference.
Herewith some quotes from the HCW’s:
“Sharing some of my challenges was a stress reliever and a big relief.”
“I wish KPs knew that they are not alone, we all have difficulties even if we are different to each other.”
“I can’t wait to see my clients again, this time with a different perspective.”
“Reading the oath made me realise that being a duty bearer is a lifestyle. This training must not stop now. There are lots more people to train.”
“This is the first time I been on Zoom and it was so easy to follow everything.”
“The Genderbread Person made it so easy to understand things and explain things to other people.”