Working With Key Populations On The Ground

By Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni

 

Honourable Susan Matsunga (standing) shares her views at meeting

 

Member of Parliament for Harare Metropolitan, Honourable Susan Matsunga, highlighted at the KP dialogue with parliamentarians, the importance of working with key populations on the ground and involving them in all planned activities.

Honourable Matsunga, who stays in Mufakose high-density surburb in Harare, says that living in a highly populated environment has made it possible for her to work with sex workers and people who take drugs, as well as people living with HIV. She has been able to engage churches, traditional leaders and other stakeholders to combat stigma against key populations and the response has been favourable.

“This meeting organised by SAfAIDS is very important, as it opens up opportunities for law makers to work with key populations at grassroots level and be able to stand up for the same people’s issues in parliament. We need to fully support key populations and work hand in hand with churches, civil society and society at large,” she said.

She indicated that of the KPs that she works with, three have been trained by SAYWHAT and now meet on weekends with their fellow sex workers to impart the knowledge they acquired from the training. She said the bottom line is not in KPs meeting, but in them being able to access the support they need, as well as being able to communicate with their MPs, who in turn will help make sure that nurses, the police and the community embrace and accept them.