The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) with much excitement have successfully completed a Gender Based Violence (GBV) training in Malaita province which will soon see strengthened collaboration between health and GBV key stakeholders in addressing GBV in the province.
While the GBV related trainings have been an ongoing yearly activity of the Ministry of Health through its GBV department, the inclusion of key stakeholders, such as the Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA), Malaita Christian Care Centre, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Auki Market Vendor Association, community church leaders, chiefs and Non-Government Organizations like Solomon Islands Red Cross, Oxfam etc. is the first of its kind.
MHMS, GBV National Coordinator, Nashley Vozoto explained that the inclusion of GBV key stakeholders alongside health workers in the training is necessary to create an understanding amongst everyone on the important functions and roles each play towards addressing and supporting GBV victims and survivors.
“This is critical if we are to have a more effective approach to dealing with GBV. Addressing GBV is cross-cutting across various sectors and also programs, for instance critical services provided by other partner Ministries including the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, and the safe shelters are not provided by health but by our Non-governmental organizations and church based organizations, therefore combined efforts, resources and services is critically to tackle this issue together. Hence, the inclusion of stakeholders in the training”, explained Mr. Vozoto.
The training covered the various forms of GBV mainly experienced in the communities, how to quickly identify GBV case in communities and appropriate actions to take in response including counselling and referrals.
The training also included responding to GBV during lockdowns and curfews, as recently experienced in Honiara and other parts of the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We have noted increased number of GBV during the COVID-19 lockdown and one of the main reasons is because the victim and perpetrator live under the same roof, and therefore the training also included a component of how all organizations can work together under such circumstances”.
Mr. Vozoto in thanking the participants for their participation acknowledged the World Bank for the funding support to health that has enabled the implementation of the GBV training in Malaita Province. It is anticipated that such more trainings are expected to be implemented in other Provinces.
Similar trainings will be held for other provinces in the weeks ahead.