United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it has trained social and health workers on mental health and psycho-social support for victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Kaduna State.
Mr Macauley Christian, UNFPA Humanitarian Coordinator, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.
Christian said that the training was designed to equip the social and frontline health workers with skills, to address the mental and psycho-social needs of GBV survivors.
He said: “We are in a crisis situation following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic along with constant violence where vulnerable women and girls continue to be the target.
“Women and girls go through different forms of abuse like rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and female genital mutilation among others.”
He said that the Kaduna State Government sought the support of the UNFPA to equip the social and health workers with the needed skills in handling cases of GBV.
“We have built on the existing capacity and provided them with the necessary tools to address the mental health and psycho-social needs of GBV survivors.
“We expect to see some transformation in handling such cases in their various facilities.
“We want to see GBV victims accessing compassion services and workers exhibiting an improved attitude toward providing the best of care to GBV survivors,” he added.
Christian said the UN agency had deployed humanitarian response for a very long time in Nigeria, including GBV response in emergency.
He said that UNFPA was in the North East region where humanitarian activities were ongoing alongside sexual and reproductive health services in emergencies.
“We are building the capacity of healthcare workers to provide services on clinical management of rape and obstetric care to the affected population as well as reproductive kits in emergencies and other forms of support.
“In every emergency in Nigeria and other parts of the world, UNFPA is there to provide the necessary support,” Christian said.
One of the participants, Mrs Sidikat Adegboye, Manager, Salama Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Tudun Wada, Kaduna noted that mental health support was revealing and encompassing.
“I assure you that there will be better counselling of GBV survivors and better handling of sexual assault cases in Salama centres in the state,” she said.
Similarly, Mrs Maryam Muazu, Social Worker, Kaduna State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, said they were exposed to relevant knowledge and skills to enhance management of GBV cases.
Muazu, who is also the Project Coordinator of the UNFPA in the ministry, added that the training also improved their understanding of the psycho-social needs of GBV survivors.