The LGBTI community in Namibia will now be able to access dedicated health care services with the opening of the African nations first LGBTI health centre.
Launched by LGBTI rights group Out-Right Namibia (ORN) in the city of Windhoek, the Outreach Health drop-in-centre will provide services including HIV testing, counselling, prescribing PrEP, and HIV treatment, right at the point of diagnosis.
Speaking with Mambaonline, Director of ORN, Friedel Dausab said, “It is a first, it is for all LGBT, and we are also trying to open it to include other sexual and gender minorities, just to really give people a safe space where they can come for health services, including mental health and sexual and reproductive health services.”
In addition to members of the LGBT community, the clinics historic opening was attended by officials from partner organisations such as Wings To Transcend Namibia, LifeLine ChildLine Namibia, the United Nations Population Fund and the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association.
During the opening, Dausab explained that the new centre is part of a larger strategy to push for equality in Namibia, including decriminalising homosexuality, by documenting people’s experiences of discrimination and using the stories as evidence for lawmakers and other leaders to illustrate the real human impact of LGBT oppression and stigma.