The County Government of Taita Taveta through the Department of Health Services in collaboration with the Gender Department, NASCOP, USAID Stawisha Pwani and other stakeholders, today conducted a Gender Based Violence (GBV) multisectoral meeting to review GBV progress and forge a way forward on strategies towards prevention and response.
Violet Mkamburi, GBV County Coordinator Department of Health Services, noted the need to bring more stakeholders on board, source for more partner support, and put more activities geared toward GBV prevention and response.
“ The Health Department is mandated to do more clinical management towards the response of GBV survivors hence the need to train more healthcare workers in all levels of care to be able to handle cases. This will strengthen referral pathways for the survivors,” she said.
The GBV County Coordinator called for more efforts geared towards community awareness as a preventive measure too.
Director Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services Wallace Mwaluma stated the importance of mental health inclusion in GBV.
“ You cannot separate mental health and GBV. Victims who have experienced GBV suffer from trauma. Psychologists and counsellors ought to be brought on board in GBV programs going forward. Also, all stakeholders need to have accurate data to make informed interventions,” Mr Mwaluma advised.
“ GBV is a long journey that we must all walk. If all of us are committed as individuals families, communities, institutions, and as a nation we can eliminate this vice,” said Charity Bahati, County Director Gender, National Government.
Issues discussed included existing policies (SGBV, Child Welfare and Protection, Youth Welfare and Empowerment), triple threats- new HIV infections, teenage pregnancies and GBV, among other pertinent matters.
The way forward discussed was to improve on reporting through Kenya Health Information Systems KHIS, lobby for County allocation of budgets towards GBV, the establishment of GBV rescue centres/ safe spaces and GBV recovery centres.