Meeting the health needs of trafficked personsBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3326 (Published 26 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3326
All rapid responses
We agree with the editorial that providing medical services for
trafficked people pose many challenges.1 We run a clinic for female sex
workers funded by a government agency in Hong Kong, where there has been a
large influx of illegal migrants from mainland China (accounted for 75%
female inmates), many coerced into the sex industry in tandem with the
pursuit of commercial profit.2 These women often feel incapable to report
crimes committed against them, and as such became open to abuse and
exploitation.3 At the same time they are subject to a fee seven times
higher than what locals are paying when availing of medical services, let
alone the stigma and sexual health focus associated with these services.
An outreach “well-women” clinic operated by non-governmental organisations
which maintain a good network and relationship among their clients, seems
to an acceptable option and an effective way, at least in the early
detection of cervical cancer,4 in managing their health.
William CW Wong & Eleanor Holroyd,
Ex-executive committee members, Action for Reach Out,
1. Zimmerman C, Oram S, Borland R, Watts C. Meeting the health needs
of trafficked persons. British Medical Journal 2009; 339: b3326.
2. Wong WCW, Holyrod EA, Griffiths S, Chan EY. The double standards in
“One Country Two Systems”: Socio-political implications on female migrant
sex workers in Hong Kong. BMC International Health and Human Rights. 2009.
3. Holroyd EA, Wong WCW, Gray A, Ling, D. Environmental health and safety
of Chinese sex workers: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of
Nursing Studies 2008; 45: 932-941.
4. Wong WCW, Wun YT, Chan KW, Liu Y. Silent killer of the night: A
feasibility study of an outreach well women clinic for cervical cancer
screening in female sex workers in Hong Kong. International Journal of
Gynaecological Cancer 2008; 18:110-115.
Both authors were Executive Committee members for a NGO which provides medical care and help for female sex workers in Hong Kong
Competing interests: No competing interests