A huge investment into the health sector by the government, private sector and the development partners will translate into nothing if a particular section of the society is left out .Indeed, discrimination against some individuals in health services provision is a sure recipe for disaster and counterproductive in the efforts to create a health society .
Realising that, Art and Global Health Center Africa (ArtGlo) is engaging health care workers in a bid to improve access to health services for minorities and other vulnerable groups in Malawi .Such vulnerable groups include LGBTI community members, sex workers and the mentally challenged among others .This is against a background that such groups often times than not face discrimination in health care settings.
ArtGlo is engaging the health care workers across Malawi under Umunthu Programme .Umunthu is a Pan –African philosophy often defined as I am, because we are.
The most recent engagement with health care workers under the Umunthu Programme took place in Mchinji District .The workshop attracted 28 health care workers from Mchinji Central Cluster.
The workshop which employed participatory art based approaches like storytelling, games and role play oriented the participants in areas of Umunthu, discrimination and its evils, sexual orientation and gender identity among others.
After the workshop, the participants made pledges and designed community action plans to improve access to health for minorities .They pledged to leave no one behind.
“As health care workers, we take the Hippocratic oath upon completion of our studies .We pledge to serve everyone .However, at times issues of culture and religion come into play and affect our attitude towards certain individuals such as LGBTI community members .This workshop has however opened our eyes to Umunthu .We thank officials from ArtGlo for organizing this workshop,” said Jonas Kambuwe, a state registered nurse at Mchinji District hospital.