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Liberia: Health Workers, Security Officers Pledge to Protect, Enhance Service Delivery for SGBV Survivors

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Bensonville, Montserrado – Health workers and gender-based violence taskforce members including police officers in Montserrado County have committed to protect and enhance service delivery for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

The group made the pledge at the end of a two-day training conducted by Action Aid Liberia on clinical management of SGBV survivors in Bensonville over the weekend.

According to the Program Coordinator of Action Aid Liberia, Jestina Kanneh, the training was intended to strengthen and equip healthcare providers for effective and adequate service delivery for SGBV survivors in Liberia.

Madam Kanneh said it is part of the ‘Enhanced Protection from Sexual & Gender-Based Violence for Women, Girls and sexual Minorities in Liberia’ project that is being supported by the European Union Delegation in Liberia.

Meanwhile, the beneficiaries, speaking to FrontPage Africa, thanked Action Aid and the EU for the training and vowed to implement the knowledge gained into their various communities. 

Sarah H. Scott Borvah, Register Midwife at Bromley Health Center said: “The training was good. We learned how to approach our victims and survival who will come to our facilities; how to allow them to express themselves on what they are going through and how to help them out in other treatment area.”

She called for more trainings to be conducted through the country. 

“We are recommending to the donors to continue because this is not only about Montserrado. It’s about entire Liberia. They should continue their training to train more nurses so that the awareness will be all over Liberia. That people will come out to say that I am a survival, to explain what happens to them so that this preaching we are doing about rape cases will stop in Liberia. We promised them that when we go out there we will make a change,” she pledged.

Also speaking, Corporal Stephen G. Nuah of the Liberia National Police (LNP) averred that the training was good and timely. CorporaI Nuah, on behalf of the police, thanked Action Aid and EU and recommended that the number of police participants should increase in subsequent trainings.

Corporal Nuah: “The training is very important to the police because we also contact points when it comes to gender-based violence issues. It broadens our knowledge on how to record survivor’s information and how to handle survivors. There were other ideas that we were not aware of but the workshop enables to grasp some techniques to deal with survival.”

He continues: We learned how to conduct the interview of survival and exercise confidentiality, and not disturb the survival, to re-victimize them whenever the case is reported to the police station. I recommend that the number of police should increase because at times assignment can change. If one person is trained and that person is transferred, then ultimately that support is gone.” 

Sarah L. Seleweyan, a registered Nurse at Nyehn Health Center in Todee District, added: “We learned a lot of things. We didn’t know how to access survivors of SGBV, but right now I am very happy because I know how to access my patients when they are victimized. I will used it in the best way that I have been thought. I just want to tell my colleagues that we all should implement what we were thought to get rid of sexual abuse.

For her part, the facilitator, Elizabeth Kerkulah, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at JDJ Memorial Hospital called on beneficiaries to serve as ambassadors in giving proper care to SGBV survivors.

About the Project

The Enhanced Protection from Sexual & Gender Based Violence for Women, Girls and sexual Minorities project is a three-year program that covers 52,176 women, girls and sexual minorities in eight communities across Gbarpolu, Margibi and Montserrado Counties.

Meanwhile, the training on clinical management of SGBV survivors’ next stop is Gbarpolu County. Earlier, it was held for healthcare providers and GBV taskforce members in Margibi County.

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