You are here

UNFPA Collaborates with Transwave and UNAIDS to develop Transgender Health Strategy in Jamaica

In Jamaica, disclosure of transgender identity may raise concerns regarding stigma, discrimination, social exclusion, and gender-based violence. Evidence from a situation analysis
developed by TransWave Jamaica, a Jamaican-led, trans-focused civil society organization, with support from UNFPA and UNAIDS, revealed that if people feel that confidentiality and privacy are not assured, they may not seek health services, or may withhold other key information from their health provider for fear that the provider will make this information public, thus jeopardizing their own, and potentially others’, health and safety. Such disclosure by health care providers or other governmental and private actors may negatively impact universal health coverage leaving the furthest behind even further behind.

In light of these inequities, and in support of the Ministry’s Vision 2030 for health, a Comprehensive National Health Strategy for Trans and Gender Non-Confirming Persons was
developed in 2020 by TransWave with the support from UNFPA and UNAIDS. The Strategy addresses health issues that are comprehensive in scope, expanding the focus on transgender health beyond the confines of HIV. The evidence-based document outlines the vision, priorities, and course of action for improving and maintaining the health of transgender persons throughout their life course and in all their diversity. The development process used personcentred, current and emerging practice, evidence, and the experience of transgender community members, as well as technical focal points from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, civil society and international development partners, to make recommendations on integrated, differentiated and culturally-competent health services.

Recognising the social determinants of health, the strategy is structured around the socioecological model (Legislation and Policy; Community; Organizational; Interpersonal; Individual). This five-year strategy (2021-2025) provides a logical structure on which a rights-based health vision for trans, transgender and gender non-conforming Jamaicans is advanced. It includes six (6) strategic areas and ten (10) goals, and was developed with a mission to promote evidencebased care, education, research, public policy, and respect and dignity for trans, transgender and gender non-conforming Jamaicans so they are free to pursue all aspects of their civic, social, economic, emotional, and intellectual lives.