Learning to take care of ourselves
Because of her experiences, Nadia speaks out in support of education for mothers and daughters to break through the barriers to services and information.
She says, “Sex education should be available for children of a certain age, and for mothers to allow their daughters to take care of themselves.”
Ruth, another sex worker in San Pedro Sula, also believes in self-care: Controlling one’s health means being up to date with treatment, with medication, and coming to the clinic when you feel bad, she says.
Ruth highlights the importance of feeling invited into, and accepted in, a healthcare centre. MSF health promoters visited Ruth and other women in her neighbourhood, explaining that the clinic’s doors were open to them, that medicine was free, and tests were available. “They told us how to prevent [illnesses], how to take care of ourselves. I felt good,” she says.
Mental health is a key part of MSF’s comprehensive care package. “When I came to the clinic in the first few days, I did come in quite depressed. I felt that my life no longer made sense. I saw the psychologist because of everything I went through and it has helped me because… it has not been easy,” says Ruth.