Sexual reproductive health interventions key in humanitarian crises – SGBV Expert

By Fatima
Anafu-Astanga, GNA

Tamale, Nov. 29, GNA
– Mrs Anita Akumia, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Specialist at the
UNFPA, said adequate preparations are critical in humanitarian crises
situation, which call for coordinated efforts and timely interventions.

Sexual reproductive
health of young girls and women are often ignored in humanitarian situations,
she said, which often exposed them to several risks.

Mrs Akumia said
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) including sexual abuse like rape and physical
assault, usually exposed the survivors to multiple health challenges, and a
multi-sectorial approach was key in crises interventions, which require
coordinated efforts and resources to provide the best of care.

The SGBV Specialist
in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sideline of a three- day
training for stakeholders on the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP) in
humanitarian situations, said in ensuring the success of the approach, cluster
approaches, coordination and partnerships were crucial during humanitarian

The training seeks
to expose stakeholders from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to
humanitarian preparedness plans and how to ensure that adequate contingencies
were put in place during crises.

Mrs Akumia indicated
that rising floods situations and plagues of conflicts experienced in parts of
the country over the years was a clear indicator that called for measures to be
put in place.

This was because
human lives were sacred and so quick moves were needed to harness and mobilise
the required resources to save the situation.

She called on the
state parties to commit resources to MISP to ensure that in humanitarian
crises, adequate steps were taken to support and address health issues.

Explaining the core
values of the training, Mrs Akumiah said it provided collaborative
relationships to make MISP work and empowered participants as coordinators to
serve as campaigners in Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and in
humanitarian settings.

Dr. Claudia Donkor,
the National Programme Analyst for Reproductive Health and Humanitarian
Assistance at UNFPA admitted that MISP was a priority in conflict and emergency
response situations, and called for its implementation simultaneously as
life-saving intervention during crises.

Health and lives of
women and girls were largely affected in crises, which exposed them to sexual
reproductive health risks including sexually transmitted infections and other
health threats, she added.

To this end, she
said MISP needed to be implemented simultaneously with other support services
to ensure women and girls in crises situation had services that will address
their urgent needs in emergency response in humanitarian settings.

The training is
expected to serve as a continuous learning platform for participants and
prepare coordinators to work towards the establishment of national teams to
enforce policies in emergency response situations.

MISP is a series of
actions required to respond to reproductive health needs on the onset of
humanitarian crises implementation in a coordinated manner by appropriately
trained staff.

The training is
being attended by staff of the Ghana Health Service, NADMO, DOVSSU, Regional
Coordinating Councils and the Ghana News Agency as well as representatives of
two local radio stations.


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