The press conference panel featured the following speakers: Dr. Nuhad Dumit – President, Order of Nurses in Lebanon Nadia Badran – President, Social Workers’ Syndicate in Lebanon Mrs Nour Kik – Policy and Advocacy Officer, National Mental Health Program, Ministry of Public Health Dr. Omar Fattal – Board member and immediate Past President of LebMASH. Dr. Dumit reminded everyone of the Nurses oath which “emphasizes on approaching all individuals with equal respect as nurses pledge to see patients as equal humans”. She also declared that the order’s council has recently adopted the following statement: “It is well documented that homophobia, stigma, marginalization, and discrimination lead to health disparities and reduced access to care. If we are to remain faithful to our profession’s mission and the public’s trust, we must take a proactive approach to addressing the health needs and safety of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual patients. These persons are bound by experiences of stigma, discrimination, marginalization, and, specifically with respect to healthcare, a long history of discrimination and lack of awareness of health needs by health professionals. The Order of Nurses finds it crucial to address the issue of homosexuality in Lebanon in hope of promoting better health for this vulnerable group of people”.
During the press conference LebMASH launched the 3 campaign videos that were later disseminated on social media.
The first video features a sexual health specialist who wants to treat all his patients equally. He explains that unfortunately, article 534 of the Lebanese penal code prevents him from doing his job effectively. He calls for this law to be abolished
The second video highlights how the support that this loving mom gave her son helped him get the proper care for his HIV. It highlights how having a supportive family is a protective factor against HIV.
The third video highlights the fact that homosexuality itself is not a mental illness but being subjected to chronic stress puts LGBT people at a higher risk of having mental health issues. Support from family is a protective factor against having mental health issues
The press conference was broadcasted live on FB on LebMASH’s page and documented here.
The press conference was covered by reporters from LBCI, Al Hayat, Enta Wayn blog, and the Legal Agenda
LebMASH also published a press release following the press conference. You can read it here.