[RECAP] APTN Pacific Partners Health Visits

On 24-27 October 2022, APTN held the “Pacific Partners Health Visits”, and invited our pacific partners from Hetura PNG Association Inc. from Papua New Guinea, The Haus from Fiji, and My Girls Club from Samoa. This is a workshop that will feature a mix of opportunities to learn from practitioners outside of the cohort, reflect on the work that’s been done both in the country and regionally, and strategize how to move this work forward. The key objectives of the workshop are:

1. To provide a space for dialogue and comprehensive mapping of issues, and country/organisational capacities relating to health care and service provision, and chart future aspirations for trans and gender diverse people in Samoa, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.

2. To increase the knowledge and expertise of health providers to advocate for access to health, knowledge of trans-sensitive policies and procedures,  and advocacy tools to combat stigma and reduce harmful practices.

3. To expand the network of health providers and partners providing trans-competent healthcare in Southeast Asia and the Pacific as well as connecting national partners with each other.

On day 1, the Pacific partners visited APTN’s office and had workshops with APTN’s advocacy and programs team. The workshops included health mapping in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Samoa facilitated by Nhuun Yodmuang, developing concrete plans for the future facilitated by Madhura Chakraborty, and an introduction to launch the Trans Health & Rights Module and Trans Health Videos facilitated by Marli Guttierez, our Senior Project Officer.

On day 2, the Pacific partners participate in clinic visits for the clinics that provide health care of transgender people in Bangkok. They visited SWING Clinic and Pride Clinic at Bumrungrad Hospital. The clinic visits are facilitated by Nicha Rongram, our Project Manager.

On day 3, the partners visited the Center of Excellence in Transgender Health at Chulalongkorn Hospital with Dr Thanapob Bumphenkiatikul. After that, Cole Young, our Senior Program Officer facilitated a session to introduce the concept and the process of community-based monitoring, to gain information from partners about the challenges and enabling factors of implementing community-based monitoring in their countries, and to kick start a conversation about current gaps in trans healthcare and ways in which partners can begin to address and fill those gaps.

On days 4 & 5, the Pacific partners attended the Transgender Masterclass, an inaugural platform for knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices in trans-competent care. The Masterclass is providing the opportunity for health practitioners and community organisations to network and create linkages that drive sustained advances in the provision of transgender medicine and trans-competent care across the region.

APTN is really proud and grateful for having our Pacific partners and hosting them through this series of workshops in Bangkok, Thailand. Please also take a look at our newly published reports about the lived experiences of trans persons in Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea here.