Oct 8, 2009, 6:29 AM
The training activity, which is being held at the hospital in Banjul, aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of health care workers on the effective and efficient management of cases of gender-based violence, especially cases of rape and other sexual offences cases.
The national coordinator of NGBV, Haddy Mboge, in her introductory remarks said the training exercise was to ensure that capacity is built in the frontline managers, and clinical management is one of those key issues.
“We are targeting doctors and nurses, especially at the main referral hospitals namely, the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and Serrekunda Hospital, which are very paramount toward ensuring that cases are properly handled,” she added.
She spoke on the importance of training health workers, considering the fact that they are the first port of call when it comes to violence against women, noting that when a woman is sexually violated, the first place they think of is the health facility because they are important in managing such cases.
The NGBV national coordinator further hinted that the courts would also rely on the evidence collected from the facility, to ensure that the perpetrators are properly addressed.
According to her, it was on this basis that the network and its partners develop guidelines for health care workers on the basic management of gender-based violence cases.
Doctor Patrick Idoko, one of the facilitators, emphasized that gender-based violence is a very serious problem in the society and that, unfortunately, it is one of the most silent epidemics.
He added that this was the first attempt to train the health workers about the problems and cases of gender-based violence, and it would capacitise them to improve their knowledge in dealing with such cases.
This training session, according to Dr Idoko, is important for the country, because when health care workers are well-trained they would be able to identify problems related to gender-based violence, and be able to follow the necessary management protocols.
Njundu Drammeh, the chairperson of the NGBV, spoke on the impact of gender-based violence in relation to medical ethics.
He also buttressed on the inter-personnel connection between patients and care providers as to the solution to gender-based violence.
The network is a civil society organization formed in The Gambia in 2009 as a joint Gambian-Finnish initiative to combat gender-based violence.
It serves as a platform for discussion, formulation and implementation of strategic actions for a collective response to gender-based violence by state and non-state actors, who are mandated or interested in preventing and protecting women and children from all forms of violence, such as sexual abuse, exploitation, physical violence, economic violence, among others.