The ‘Time Has Come’ to Reduce Stigma in Health Care Settings

Oct 10, 2016

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Human Rights Adviser’s Unit and WHO worked together with the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Health (INS) to host a five day national training of 33 health care workers, civil society members and Timor-Leste’s National Human Rights Institution, Provedoria dos Direitos Humanos e Justiça, to reduce stigma and discrimination of men who have sex with men and transgender people. The training was held at the INS from 19-23 September 2016.

This national training aimed to impart practical, sustainable knowledge and skills to programme managers, frontline service managers, health policy professionals and community partners that can enhance their leadership capacity and improve HIV and sexual health programming and service delivery.  The training is based on the regional training package: “The Time Has Come” - Enhancing HIV, STI and other sexual health services for men who have sex with men and transgender people in Asia and the Pacific: Training package for health providers to reduce stigma in health care settings.

“The challenges faced by these communities are significant,” stated Knut Ostby, United Nations Resident Coordinator during his opening remarks. “As we know too well, discrimination against men who have sex with men and transgender people persist, and remains a major obstacle in accessing health, HIV and STI services.

The UN is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of alI people. Our health and human rights mandates requires us to place particular emphasis on those experiencing the greatest inequality and exclusion – men who have sex with men and transgender people are one such group, and often experience multiple forms of marginalization.

“Your presence is highly an important step to deliver actions that would help reduce stigma and discrimination among these groups in health care settings thereby creating an enabling environment to their right for health, said António Bonito, Executive Director for the National Institute of Health (INS). “Let us continue to take stock of the knowledge shared in this training once you return to your work settings and integrate this knowledge to programming processes for inclusiveness and equality.”

This training package was developed by UNDP and WHO under the ISEAN-HIVOS Multi-Country Global Fund HIV Programme and was piloted in 2012/13 in five counties – China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste - with over 200 local health care providers. Since its release in 2013 over 1,200 health care providers have been trained in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

For your reference, please view the training package here:


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