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Centre for Development of the People (Cedep) has called on the police, health workers and social welfare officers in Chikwawa to fully support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community when seeking out their services.The call was made on Friday during a three-day workshop aimed at equipping the district's service providers with skills and breaking structural barriers facing the key populations.

Cedep Programme Manager for Health, Tiferanji Vizyalona appealed to the service providers not to discriminate LGBTI people on the grounds of sexual orientation."We have noted that female sexual workers and men having sex with other men are subjected to gender-based violence (GBV) at a time when they are seeking HIV/Aids interventions. This is why we are orienting health providers to embrace diversity so that they should treat these minority groups fairly," said Vizyalona.He further urged the police to ensure that LGBTI victims of crime are treated well and have their complaints looked into.

Chikwawa Police Station Officer-in Charge Davie Chingwalu hailed the training as timely, saying it would improve the officers' knowledge on the issues of LGBTI.Chingwalu, however, bemoaned an increase in GBV cases in the district.He pledged to deal with the issues through sensitization meetings slated across the district.