Gender-Based Violence Facilities Improved With WHO Assistance
Credit: WHO

WHO and Government of Pakistan Work Together to Improve Healthcare Facilities

The WHO regulates national clinical protocols and the National health response package for the victims of gender-based violence. The Ministry of National Health Services works hand in hand with the WHO country office to improve the response of the health system against such issues.

In addition to this, the country office provides technical support to the various provincial health setups and the Ministry of Regulation and Coordination. All concerned departments are working to strengthen service provision for survivors of gender-based violence at the health facility level.

WHO and the Government of Pakistan work together to formulate a nationally endorsed health response package each year. WHO and other bodies will train Health care professionals under this alliance. Between September 21 and 24, 2020 one such training workshop was conducted in Lahore.

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Training Aims

Gender-based violence and prevention was the topic of the training. Gynecologists were trained to respond towards victims of sexual violence, facility-based clinical case management, and care provision.

The training regimen includes psychosocial support sessions since the whole COVID-19 situation.

The September training aimed to improve the in-facility provision of essential services to victims of gender-based violence, especially during the COVID-19 times. The training aimed to strengthen health facility-based essential service provision for survivors facing gender-based violence during the pandemic.

The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics’ and the South Asian Federation of Gynaecologists also took part in the training. The Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists represented the South Asian Federation of Gynaecologists.

The collective committee, in collaboration with WHO, discussed the potential move to integrate gender-based violence into sexual and reproductive health rights.

The training aimed to improve and ensure safe service provision for women and girls facing domestic violence. Health professionals trained in readiness towards these issues, particularly for women going through pregnancy or just after childbirth.

The Rural Stigma Of Gender-based Violence

Although the training session was in Lahore, eighteen health professionals from all over Punjab were in attendance. These health professionals serve as gynecologists at ten important health facilities across Punjab. The problems associated with remote areas were discussed. There is a higher incidence of gender-based violence rural areas than in urban ones.

The pandemic has made many situations worse. Hence, the training focused on sexual and reproductive health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The governing bodies overseeing the training designed a facility-based training plan for the participants. This plan focused on improving the provision of service and aimed at implementation in their respective health facilities.

Additionally, the training also incorporated a real-time data collection system for recording and managing cases. This improvement will strengthen related case management, reporting, and access at a provincial and national level.

The training concluded with Ms. Ayesha Iqbal distributing certificates to the participants. Ms. Iqbal is a member of the provincial parliament of Punjab. Furthermore, Ms. Iqbal expressed her delight with the role of WHO and The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics’ in strengthening the health system towards a response to gender-based violence.

Moreover, she commended everyone involved for their responsible actions towards controlling the spread of COVID-19 and appreciated how the training further assists in solving pandemic related health issues.