Iranti as partner in the first
Gender Affirming Healthcare Conference
South Africa, 19 November 2016
As part of Iranti’s on-going work around gender affirming healthcare, we co-partnered in presenting the first Gender Affirming Healthcare Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference took place on 19 and 20 November 2016, and was hosted by Gender DynamiX, Iranti and the Gender, and the Health & Justice Research Unit (GHJRU, University of Cape Town).
The conference sought to address the disparity between the standard of gender-affirming healthcare within South Africa; and between South Africa and other Southern African countries. This was looked at in relation to the possibility of building alliances with and training medical health practitioners.
The practitioners who attended the Gender Affirming Healthcare Conference were nominated by, or received endorsements from, trans organisations in six countries; South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited training was conducted by doctors from the Groote Schuur Transgender Clinic, together with activists and allies. The CPD training was introduced in South Africa by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), aimed at doctors who wish to maintain registration with the Council and need the work they are doing within Gender Affirming Healthcare, to be recognized, as they need to accumulate a certain number of hours to maintain their registration.
According to HPCSA, the purpose of CPD is “to assist health professionals to maintain and acquire new and updated levels of knowledge, skills and ethical attitudes that will be of measurable benefit in professional practice and to enhance and promote professional integrity”.
Over the two days, the conference covered:
- Informed consent, ethical guidelines and person-centred care;
- Providing gender affirming services without national clinical guidelines;
- Legal gender recognition;
- Gender affirming hormone therapy for adults and adolescents;
- Gender affirming mental healthcare for adults;
- Gender affirming surgery; and
- Gender affirming mental healthcare for children and adolescents.
Participants also discussed the formation of regional networks focused on medical and mental health issues respectively, as well as research agenda setting for the region.
The conference concluded by reflecting on the continuing violence and discrimination against trans and gender diverse people, and the significant contribution all participants could make in shifting the status quo.
Iranti and Gender Dynamix will be looking to build on this ground-breaking initiative in future.