‘Preventing stigma requires a full-throated campaign’-01-04-2020


This is compounded by the large amount of fake news and false information being generated today. Some groups face the additional element that discrimination against them is already there, and COVID-19 has become one more reason to stigmatise them. In terms of stigma, the closest we have come is with HIV/AIDS patients. But HIV-related stigma did not extend, in general, to health workers.

What can we as government/community do to prevent this?

We have a long way to go because we haven’t even fully acknowledged the economic and health challenges of 80% of our people in what we have done so far. Think of a woman who has to feed her family, take care of sick people and is herself suffering from poor general health – that is the section that is going to be very vulnerable. Preventing stigma requires a full-throated campaign of public information. People also need to understand that the same health worker that you stigmatise today may be the one who you may have to turn to tomorrow.

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