WHO, Yobe Govt integrate GBV, PRS into Cerebrospinal Meningitis response

WHO, Yobe Govt integrate GBV, PRS into Cerebrospinal Meningitis response

By Muhammad Maitela, Damaturu.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Yobe state government with support from USAID/BHA (United States Agency for International Development/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance) have integrated Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Preventing and Responding to Sexual Assault (PRS) into its Cerebrospinal Meningitis support in the state.

While explaining the objectives of the training, the WHO PRS Coordinator, Sylvia Opinia who was represented by Dr. Inigbehe Oyinloye, the (WHO PRS Technical Officer) revealed that the participants cuts across 7 recognised Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the state will be supported to conduct 8 weeks of community engagement activities across 6 selected (LGAs) local government areas (Fika, Potiskum, Nangere, Nguru, Damaturu, and Bade).

“This capacity building is to increase awareness of GBV, its consequences, and the role of health workers in supporting survivors in the context of meningitis response. It is also aimed at creating awareness of PRSEAH (Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment) and its reporting among the communities, as well as to break the culture of silence and address the stigmatization of survivors” she said.

She explained the training will be integrated with key messages of meningitis so as to increase awareness and improve across the CSO’s LGAs of assignment.

Earlier in his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lawan Gana who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Yobe State Emergency Medical and Ambulance Services (YEMABUS), Abdullahi Danchuwa who also doubles as the Chairman, Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) explained a total of over 1,000 cases of GBV were recorded in the year 2023 alone.

“As I welcome you to this capacity building on behalf of Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lawan Gana who could not come here in person due to tight schedules, being members of the Civil Society Organisations, you play a very significant role of watching over what happens in your society”

“Yobe state government has zero tolerance for GBV in the state and we will continue to partner you in ensuring the cases of GBV are reduced to its barest minimum because over 1,000 cases of the crime were recorded within the state in the year 2023 alone.

He also charged them not to be found wanting in discharging their duties as doing so will jeopardize the successes recorded in the last few years.

The training is in response to Yobe state request during the WHO’s 13th Joint Operations Review (JOR) meeting held in Yola, Adamawa state. Currently, over 20 participants converged in Damaturu the state capital to receive the capacity building.