Resource package on Gender-based violence launched for health sector officials

The Ministry of Health, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), recently launched a resource package on the ‘Health Sector Response to Prevention and Management of Gender-based Violence’ with the intention of improving health sector engagement with the survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka.

Issuing a statement, UNPFA said that the package includes a GBV Behavioral Change Communication Manual for healthcare providers as well as Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines which will assist the health sector officials.

‘These important tools will assist and guide health sector officials to improve the overall health sector response to survivors of gender-based violence in a coordinated and standardized manner. These life-changing tools were developed in alignment with the Health Sector Module of the Essential Service Package, which is an international guideline-based on best practices for response for survivors and victims of sexual and gender-based violence,’ the statement said.

‘Building capacities of primary healthcare providers to address cases of gender-based violence is vital as these officials serve as a strategic link between people and policy,’ the statement added.

Sri Lanka has further committed to strengthen health care for the elimination of GBV and to expand care provision for survivors through ‘Mithuru Piyasa’ Centres and safe homes at the recently concluded the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)25 in Nairobi.

‘While the health sector looks at the issue of Gender-based violence from a service angle, the issue also needs to be addressed through a multi-sectoral approach. Coordination within the Health sector and between sectors is paramount to ensure a change of attitudes and practices,’ the statement quoted Deputy Director-General of Public Health Services Dr Susie Perera as saying.

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