Malawi Network for Aids Services Organization (MANASO) has stressed the importance of imparting knowledge to health workers on gender based violence in a bid to eliminate the vice in Karonga.
The organization made the call on Wednesday in the district during a day long training for public and private health workers on the elimination of GBV.
Speaking in an interview following the training, MANASO program manager Grace Massah said a lot of health workers lack knowledge in how to spot acts of GBV from patients hence imparting knowledge to them is key towards eliminating the vice.
She said as the hospital is the first place that people go to seek treatment when they are violated, it was vital that the health workers were engaged to take a proactive role in GBV.
“Due to cultural norms women who have been violated don’t often speak out when seeking treatment and due to lack of awareness on how to spot signs of GBV our health workers most often fail to pick up these forensic signs hence the training,” Massah said.
According to Massah, a hospital should be a safe haven for people to feel comfortable to disclose issues hence health workers must be imparted knowledge to make the facility a conducive environment.
“It’s important for health workers to integrate issues of GBV into their day to day work hence we thought of coming up with the training because we believe the health authorities have a huge role to play in eliminating issues of GBV in the country,” she explained.
Thumbiko Munthali who is the district aids coordinator and who was also one of the participants to the training, expressed gratitude to MANASO for coming with the training.
He said the training has been an eye opener as they have been equipped with information and knowledge on how to deal with GBV cases therefore are now in a better place to handle cases when they arise.
With financial assistance from UN Women, MANASO has implemented the gender based project in Karonga, Salima and Mulanje.