paramedicsStigma and discrimination happens when others devalue a person or a group of people because they are associated with a certain disease, behavior or practice. Those who are stigmatized often experience discrimination in some fashion. The effects of both can be even worse for groups who already are marginalized because of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity or substance abuse. And in keeping with the Stigma and Discrimination people face on a daily basis, members of the Corozal Community hospital were engaged in training sessions organized by the Ministry of Health and the National Aids Commission. Clemente Novelo is the President of National Aids Commission.

Clemente Novelo – NAC – President

“Working with the Corozal hospital and the members and our colleague we are trying to reduce stigma and discrimination and that is one of our main focuses, we had embraced with NAC and ministry of health together working with this program and we want that this institution be a friendly in reducing stigma and discrimination.”


Victor Castillo – Reporter

“So how important would this be and how would this training would benefit the staff, the paramedics?”

Clemente Novelo – NAC – President

“Well, the training will benefit the staff by; for example if any person comes in to seek health in our institution it will help them how to treat them, how to work with them, cope with them and the way how we need to treat them.”

Over fifteen staff members of the Corozal Community Hospital were in attendance. According to Novelo stigma and discrimination is a factor that members in the community face daily.

Clemente Novelo – NAC – President

“Well it is a daily basis, we have all different kind of people coming in seeking for health services and we need to show them respect, our health service and members colleagues is an issue of daily we have people coming from the gay community, the lesbian community, heterosexual we have people coming from disable person coming in and that involve everything.”

Novelo explains how it affects a patient when he or she is been stigmatized or discriminated.

Clemente Novelo – NAC – President

“Well the effect of stigma and discrimination for us as health workers is that we must not label nobody, we must not discriminate anybody, we are here to work and to render a service and that is the way we need to render our service for example if you come to seek for service and I know your status and I start to disclose that information automatically that causes and effect that you as the individual does not come back to seek medical attention in this institution because of lack of confidentiality and today the NAC along with the ministry of health we come together and we had decided we need to teach them and we need together and stop stigma and discrimination because it does effect the health service.”

Similar training sessions are scheduled throughout the country in the coming weeks.

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