Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA)

Fellow: Nqabakazi Mathe

Grant Year: 2020

Location: uMgungundlovu District, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa

Organization: Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA)

Project title: Access to Comprehensive Health Care by Female Sex Workers in uMgungundlovu District

Project summary: According to a 2016 study in the South African Journal of HIV Medicine, female sex workers experience stigmatization, guilt, shame, and a loss of dignity as a result of the discrimination by health care workers in clinics. Several meetings organized by PACSA with over 350 female sex workers within the uMgungundlovu Health District also revealed cases of abuse and discrimination in health care centrers. Due to increased exposure to sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, unplanned pregnancies, violence, and abuse, it is vital that female sex workers have access to safe, non-discriminatory health care services. As a result, PACSA is advocating for the Member of the Executive Council of KwaZulu-Natal for Health to mandate the provision of a comprehensive non-discriminatory mobile health care program for female sex workers to be piloted in uMgungundlovu District by August 2021. Within its pilot year, the mobile health care program is estimated to reach at least 10,000 sex workers across the uMgungundlovu District.