ISLAMABAD: A medical university in Islamabad will soon open a dedicated treatment centre for for the transgender community.
Besides, the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is also establishing a research department for mapping the marginalised community across the country.
Talking to The Express Tribune, SZABMU PIMS vice chancellor Prof Javed Akram said this would be the first treatment centre at a public hospital in the country just for the transgender community.
“The centre has been established within the premises of the capital’s largest public hospital and linked with its HIV/AIDs department,” he added.
He said the centre would start functioning from next week after consulting with stakeholders.
“The federal ombudsman is playing an important role in making this happen,” he explained.
The centre will also provide sex-reassignment therapy to the community where they will have an option to either become completely male or female, based on their own choice.
“The transgender community faced immense problems and humiliation in our country while receiving medical treatment at any hospital,” Prof Akram noted.
“When they visit a hospital, there comes a point when it becomes difficult to decide whether to treat them at a male ward or female one and because of this people make fun of them,” he added.
The SZABMU PIMS vice chancellor said most members of the transgender community suffer from deadly communicable infectious diseases including HIV/AIDs, hepatitis B and C.
“But as they fear being humiliated at hospitals, they are reluctant to get treated and then go on to spread the diseases,” he observed.
Prof Akram said the doctors and paramedical staff who would treat the members of the transgender community would be trained to deal with the patients with respect and dignity.
“Every year around 160 transgender people visit PIMS seeking treatment for various diseases and to undergo surgeries,” he added.
“We are making efforts to provide a comfortable environment to members of transgender community at PIMS so that they can come here and avail the best medical treatment without fear of humiliation.”