Angaza Foundation in partnership with Change 4 Us have embarked on a campaign that seeks to encourage and promote health care provision in all the health facilities among the youths.
The campaign is called Me and My Health care provider and is being implemented with financial support from International Aids Society.
Speaking to Malawi24, Angaza Foundation Executive Director Godfrey Kambewa said the campaign seeks to recognise those health care providers that are doing a great job in being able to offer services to all groups of people in a manner that is free from stigma and discrimination.
“You and me might agree that all of us in one way or the other have been impacted by HIV. So, if we are not able to change those negative health care worker attitude we are not going to be able to combat HIV pandemic. However, we also recognise that in these health facilities, there are some health workers that are doing some excellent job that are able to provide services to all groups of people especially those that are hit by HIV or those that are at highest risk of contracting HIV in a manner that is free from stigma and discrimination. So we would like to recognise them for the work they do,” said Kambewa.
Kambewa also noted that as a youth led organisation they discovered that there are gaps that are in line with the youth service delivery, hence coming up with the campaign to fill those gaps.
“The services are there, government is doing quite a great job in terms of providing ART, condoms, lubricants and all those things. However the biggest challenge that is there is access to those services, for young people to move from home to go and access those services because of various structural barriers that exist in our health settings and some of these barriers are stigma and discrimination associating with being a young person who identifies as part of the certain community, for example if you are a young person who identifies as a trans woman or man or as young man who sleeps with fellow men, serving as a young man in prison or sex worker whether male or female.
“So those structural barriers that exist in terms of the attitudes that are associated with you belonging to this particular group hinders young people from accessing these services that are readily available in our health facility,” said Kambewa.
On his part, Change 4 Us Executive Director Kondwani Mwendo Phiri said, moving forward the campaign seeks to make sure that every health care provider has the ability to give the health services in line with his or her duty of work, considering that that Malawi is trying to reach at 95 95 target in elimination of HIV, hence the need for better service provision among the youths.
“So based on what the reports have been saying young people have been finding some challenges in accessing the services. So aslo looking at the attitude at times even the whole process of service provision itself for young person. So coming down to that, the campaign is trying to say, even thou we have some challenges we know we have health service providers that are doing great and how best other health care providers can learn from this health service providers that are doing tremendous job in the health facilities,” said Phiri.