Exploring the Barriers Faced by Transgenders for Accessing Healthcare Facilities in the Metropolitan City of Karachi
Keywords:Barriers, Gender-affirming care, Healthcare access, Healthcare facilities
Background: Transgender population experience violence and discrimination because of their gender identity and their proposed image in society. In Pakistan being a transgender creates a serious challenge and threat to survival due to difference in societal system, culture, and nature.
Methods: This qualitative phenomenological study analyses the perceptions of accessing healthcare services of 11 transgender individuals who were recruited through snowball sampling after obtaining their written informed consent. Open ended questions regarding experiences of transgenders accessing healthcare facilities in Karachi were asked. Data was collected till the saturation was achieved. The interviews were transcribed and double checked. Coding of the data was done and subsequently themes were generated.
Results: Participants’ mean age was 33 (range 24–65) years. Six themes were identified which revolve around transgenders’ experiences. These were ‘Striving for Life’, ‘Biggest Nightmare! Violence and Harassment’, ‘Shunned by the Society’, ‘Hope for the Better Days’, ‘Transgender as a Pakistani Citizen’ and ‘Attitudes of Healthcare Providers towards transgenders’.
Conclusion: There is still a long way to go before accepting transgender individuals as equal members of our society. Despite efforts to reduce discrimination, transgender individuals still face inequalities not only in the society but also in healthcare facilities. This leads to poor access of healthcare facilities. Antidiscrimination policies are needed with increased gender-affirming healthcare access.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Janifer Younus, Lubna Ansari Baig, Zaeema Ahmer, Athar Memon, Moyn Aly
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