BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
A recent collaboration between Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) has resulted in the country and region’s first intensive training on Clinical Management of Rape.
According to UNPFA, the training conducted by Dr Carina Hickling was provided for medical specialists, clinicians and midwives.
The training was held for a cadre of trainers to support the facilitation of training across the country.
UNPFA expressed that Dr Hickling is confident that the specialists will support the health ministry sustain a critical specialist area of response for survivors of gender based violence, most specifically on clinical management of rape for women, girls and children in the country.
MHMS Coordinator for National GBV (Gender Based Violence), Mr Nashley Vozoto referred to the training as the first of its kind in the country and region, representing significant progress in building the health sector’s capacity to support and end violence against women.
National Referral Hospital’s Head of Accidents and Emergency Department, Dr Trina Sale said the training has clarified what they mean by clinical management of rape, emphasized importance of safety, confidentiality, respect, non-discrimination and has set out strategies for the provision of quality care.
“The training has demystified what we mean by clinical management of rape, highlighted the importance of ensuring safety, confidentiality, respect and non-discrimination and given us strategies for providing quality care within our setting”, she said.
Meanwhile, a Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) for Clinical Management of Rape in Solomon Islands is underway, being drafted by the CMR with technical guidance and assistance from Dr Hickling.
UNFPA stressed that MHMS recognizes the crucial role it has in preventing and responding to violence.
“Never before, has it been more important that health workers in all cadres have the knowledge, confidence and competence to respond to women, girls and children affected by violence”
“The Family Protection Act 2014 quite clearly mandates health workers to carry out specific tasks to enhance the health and safety of women, girls and children, and for the first time ever, the National Health Strategic Plan (2016-2020) identifies violence against women, girls and children as a health issue and has called for improving service responsiveness and quality of health services available to women, girls and children affected by violence”, said UNPFA.
UNFPA voices that in order for the health work force, especially doctors and nurses to have the capacity, competence and confidence to deliver high quality standard of care and treatment, specifically in the clinical management of rape amongst women, girls and children, investment in the health sector is required.
One report titled “Domestic Violence in Solomon Islands”, says Solomon Islands has one of the highest rates of family and sexual violence (FSV) in the world where 64 percentage of women between ages, 15 to 49 have reported physical or sexual abuse or both by a partner.