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FII’s Digital Editor Suman Saurav participated in the Safe Access Fellowship Induction training. Selected as part of the national cohort of Safe Access Fellowship, batch of 2019, Suman was one of the 20 fellows from all across India to join Safe Access Fellowship program out of 300+ applicants.

Safe Access Fellowship is a three-month, part-time, non-residential fellowship for young change-makers which aims to on-board LGBTQ-friendly and compassionate healthcare providers across 14 States of India and make them into allies in improving access to quality healthcare for LGBTQ+ community.

The induction took place during a three-day residential training that was held from 26th to 28th July 2019 in New Delhi. The main objective of the training program was to train the fellows to map out healthcare providers and bring awareness and advocacy on LGBTQIA+ health issues in their cities. The three-day training program included 13 sessions by various stakeholders, activists and healthcare practitioners, and devolved into various important topics ranging from mental health issues for queer people to how to build a relationship with healthcare providers.

According to Safe Access’s research, over 50% of LGBTQ+ community respondents felt fearful approaching healthcare providers, and 82% felt they could not trust a doctor disclosing their identities or sexual orientation, which could result in misdiagnosis. The training program addressed the cause of this fear and how can healthcare providers be more aware and sensitive towards the unique needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Based on the training program, the Safe Access fellows will dive into the process of on-boarding LGBTQIA+ healthcare practitioners in their respective cities. They will also organize either online campaigns or on ground events to bring more awareness about LGBTQIA+ healthcare needs and the burning necessity to address it immediately.

The Safe Access Fellowship training program was a great and unique opportunity to meet with and learn from the advocacy work by healthcare practitioners and LGBTQIA+ activists from all across the country.

FII is excited for Suman to join Safe Access’s fellowship program and advocate for the healthcare needs of the LGBTQIA+ community and amplify their voices.


Featured Image Source: Safe Access

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