Our activities in Uganda
Caring for victims of homophobia in Africa
In Kampala, Médecins du Monde decided to join forces with the Most At-Risk Populations Initiative (MARPI), an organisation which works at the hospital in Mulago providing sexual and reproductive health services to key groups (including gay and transgender people and sex workers). These services are tailored to their needs and the restrictions they face, and cover awareness-raising about STIs, contraception and gender-based violence.
This Ugandan organisation, set up to support sexual minorities in the country, has succeeded in forging an alliance with the Ministry of Health. It now runs an LGBT-friendly clinic right in the heart of the capital. Although many gay and lesbian people are afraid of going to the doctor for fear of being stigmatised or reported, the clinic ensures that they receive a minimum level of care. It represents ‘a small oasis’, known through word of mouth and by small LGBT organisations also spreading the word.
Supporting organisations that tackle homophobia
Through the provision of training Médecins du Monde is also supporting MARPI as it expands its activities to regional referral hospitals, including the one in Mbarara in the south-west of the country.
In addition to improving the services provided by the clinic (especially in the treatment of anal warts, a common STI among gay people in Uganda), the partnership is also training LGBT organisations in project design and fundraising.