Concern has been expressed over the possibility of drug resistance to tuberculosis and HIV in Saint Lucia, as a result of infected individuals not accessing health care.
The facilitator of a workshop here on stigma and discrimination, Patricia Isaac-Joseph, told the Communications Unit of the Ministry of Health that one of the issues facing health officials is that if people are not comfortable and do not think they will be treated right or their privacy or the confidentiality will not be maintained, they will not access health services.
“We need persons who are living with HIV or TB to come in for their checks, to come in their treatment and to take their treatment as they should, otherwise we may end up with problems of drug resistance or just their own health getting worse, ” she explained.
Isaac-Joseph said during the four day training workshop that began on Tuesday, emphasis will be placed on introspection in relation to self-awareness, attitudes, values and beliefs as these are factors affecting stigma and discrimination.
The aim of the activity is to sensitize healthcare workers from St. Jude Hospital, Victoria Hospital and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic on how deal with stigma and discrimination when it occurs, how they may actually be causing stigma or discrimination against another person and how to avoid doing so.