Scientists from Chinese and British institutes are urging governments to focus on the way in which Covid-19 has impacted trans communities around the world.
Writing in medical journal The Lancet, the six endocrinologists and specialists in transgender healthcare said: “As a marginalised group, inequalities faced by transgender individuals in policies and social aspects, such as legislated policies based on binary gender norms, could increase the risk of illness and mortality during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In addition, to prevent the potential overload of health-care systems by Covid-19 cases, most hospitals have cancelled or postponed elective procedures to save resources. Thus, it is even more difficult for transgender individuals to access hormone interventions and gender-affirming surgeries
“Besides access to health care, it is also important to highlight mental health issues of transgender individuals. Previous studies showed that gender-affirming surgery was associated with reduced mental health problems.
“Because of the difficulties caused by COVID-19 discussed above, it is likely that transgender individuals are also facing challenging situations with regards to their mental health.”
The six scientists writing in The Lancet hailed from Oxford and De Montfort univiersities and the Chinese National Clinical Research Centre on Mental Disorders and Peking University Third Hospital in China.
They ended their article by writing: “In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we suggest that governments, policy makers, and the private sector should actively consider the unprecedented difficulties and situation faced by transgender people when planning to address the health-care crisis, and implement suitable strategies to help this minority group.”
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