City sex workers vaccinate - after protest
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CAPE TOWN - As part of the provincial health Jab before Jol campaign, MEC of Health Nomafrench Mbombo joined a number of sex workers as they got vaccinated at the Blackpool Sports Complex in Salt River.
Before getting their vaccinations, sex workers had demonstrated outside the Mowbray police station where they handed over a memorandum calling for the decriminalisation of and justice for sex workers who had been victimised during sex workers Pride day.
Mbombo said: “We have been working closely with sex workers before the Covid-19 pandemic because we understand their work makes them unable to reach out and access health services because of discrimination and stigmatisation.
“With Covid-19, they (are) more affected because their business does not allow physical distancing of 1.5m. Before they engage in their business they need to get the Jab. I am impressed by the turn out today.”
Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) advocacy manager Duduzile Dlamini said it is mandatory for everyone including sex workers to protect themselves from Covid-19.
“It is a very important day for us because it is a sex workers Pride day. We held a march outside the police station calling for decriminalization and justice. We still have many questions regarding our sex workers who died in the hands of police and we have not heard any concrete feedback from the police.
“We have been advocating for decriminalisation of sex workers for more than 20 years and their voices are not being heard.
“It is very important for sex workers to vaccinate because covid-19 does not discriminate, everyone is being affected by this virus. Sex workers also part of the society and... by (vaccinating) they are also protecting their clients and their loved ones at home from spreading the virus,” said Dlamini.