WHO and the health of LGBT individuals

The Lancet, 21 march 2015 - In his Offline, Richard Horton recently emphasised WHO's “persisting weaknesses” ahead of their Executive Board session. With WHO reform in the air, Director-General Margaret Chan stated in her opening remarks that the “agenda covers some of the most pressing public health problems” and that there is “growing evidence that well-functioning and inclusive health systems contribute to social cohesion, equity, and stability.”

The saga of agenda item 6.3 of the Executive Board—improving the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT)4 —in the past few years has shown that WHO's members are indifferent to these notions of inclusive health systems and equity.

As junior doctors, we are disappointed by global health leaders and the health community for the little progress on this issue. The comments by some Member States denying LGBT health disparities are not consistent with scientific evidence or WHO data.4 By reinforcing ignorance and discriminatory practices, these statements could have real health consequences for LGBT individuals worldwide. (Volume 385, No. 9973, p1070–1071, 21 March 2015)


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