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Centre likely to set up dedicated center for transgenders at AIIMS

AIIMS, Delhi is in consultation with a health ministry division for setting up a dedicated centre to provide comprehensive and holistic care to transgender individuals.

The aim is to set up the centre within the next 4-5 months at the burns and plastic surgery block at AIIMS, said Maneesh Singhal, head of department of Burns and Plastic Surgery.

He said they are in consultation with the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) and the Ministry of Health to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence for Transgender Healthcare’.

‘The thought of establishing a dedicated centre for them comes with understanding the difficulties encountered by the transgender community in accessing healthcare services with the general public and their hesitation in seeking help due to stigma and societal biases,” Singhal said.

‘The plan is to establish a centre where surgeries can be conducted according to their needs, and endocrinology and psychiatry services can be provided under one roof,’ he said.

Singhal was speaking on the sidelines of a three-day workshop which began on Tuesday to equip doctors, nurses, and paramedics with advanced skills to cater to the unique needs of transgender and gender-diverse individuals.

The Advanced Gender Affirmative Care Workshop is being held in collaboration with the Association for Transgender Health in India (ATHI) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) under the theme of “Addressing felt-need for training and capacity building of care providers”.

‘We have fostered collaborations with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) and the Ministry of Health to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence for Transgender Healthcare’ at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, which aspires to not only deliver holistic care but also become the seat of learning in the subject of transgender health,’ Singhal said.

‘However, despite the synergistic proactive action by the ministries of health and social justice, the paucity of trained care providers and training centres in India remains a major hurdle in the delivery of standardised, affordable, accessible, and holistic healthcare to transgender persons and gender-diverse individuals,’ he said.

These courses are being conducted with the help of a certified faculty of internationally renowned trainers and professionals in transgender health from the Global Education Institute (GEI) of WPATH and the University of Colorado, USA, assisted by domain experts from the Indian Professional Association for Transgender Health (IPATH).

‘This workshop is a pivotal step forward in equipping healthcare professionals with advanced skills to cater to the unique needs of transgender and gender-diverse individuals.

“Recognising the integral role of mental health in transgender care, the Advanced Gender Affirmative Care Mental Health Workshop takes a deep dive into advanced strategies and practices to enhance the mental well-being of the transgender community,’ he said. PTI

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