Olivia Thompson
Fri, Aug 11, 2023 2:50 PM

World Health Organization Supports Adamawa State in Providing Quality Care for GBV Survivors

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World Health Organization Supports Adamawa State in Providing Quality Care for GBV Survivors
The World Health Organization (WHO) is partnering with the government of Adamawa state in Nigeria to provide quality care for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV). With funding from USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and the Government of Germany, WHO has trained 65 health workers and volunteers as GBV Champions to provide sensitization, support, and referrals for survivors. This initiative aims to address the serious health consequences of GBV and improve access to healthcare for survivors.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is partnering with the government of Adamawa state in Nigeria to provide quality care for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV). With funding from USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and the Government of Germany, WHO supported the state government to train 65 health workers and volunteers (tagged GBV Champions) to provide sensitization on GBV and the role of the health provider for survivors in line with the WHO guideline.

The 65 GBV Champions were equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify signs of violence, deliver appropriate first-line support including psychosocial support, and provide appropriate referrals to health facilities and social support services.

Through their effort, a GBV survivor, 37 years old Jessica Matthew (name changed) was able to get medical support after suffering sexual abuse from her brother-in-law for over five years.

Jessica had suffered health consequences such as depression, anxiety, and self-inflicted injuries as a result of the abuse and had been afraid to speak out for fear of being stigmatized or people not believing her.

"Aside from the health intervention and counseling by the health worker, I was able to inform my husband about the abuse and he believed me because he also had an opportunity to be educated by the health officers," she said smiling.

Gender-based violence and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (GBV/SEA) have serious short- and long-term consequences on women's physical, sexual and reproductive, mental health, as well as their personal and social well-being.

While there is no data on the prevalence of GBV in a humanitarian context from Adamawa state, Nigeria Demographic Health Survey estimates that 44.4% of women aged 15 - 49 in the state have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence in their lifetime.

In humanitarian situations, the levels of sexual and/or intimate partner violence and other forms of violence based on gender inequality (GBV) grow more severe.

As part of the humanitarian response plan 2023, over 1.3 million individuals are targeted for GBV interventions in Adamawa state. WHO is committed to ensuring prevention of gender-based violence is sustained and access to credible information is provided to vulnerable and susceptible women and girls in Adamawa state.

Dr Beatrice Mauraguri, WHO Emergency Manager in the northeast, Nigeria, emphasized that "GBV is a major concern in the humanitarian northeast states." She further stated, "Health systems can help women survivors of violence, and WHO is supporting the health sector to respond to GBV, including physical, sexual, and emotional violence, which can have serious consequences for physical, psychological, and reproductive health."

From January to May 2023, over 141,200 women have been reached with GBV key messages in Adamawa state. WHO remains committed to ensuring the prevention of gender-based violence is sustained and access to credible information is provided to vulnerable and susceptible women and girls in Adamawa state.

Mrs Uziel Tulhungu, the Reproductive Health Coordinator and Gender-Based Officer in Adamawa state, appreciated WHO's support, stating that it has created an avenue for health and psychosocial intervention for abused persons through developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, and abilities of health workers to respond and provide quality tailored GBV health services in the communities.

To ensure real-time access to holistic health services, the GBV champions supported by WHO continuously provide GBV services, including GBV messages to vulnerable people living in IDP camps, host communities, and hard-to-reach locations.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-11 News

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