According to the health management information system (HMIS), cases of sexual gender based violence are on the increase and in most cases, victims being young girls aged between 11 to 16 years.
By Edward Makuzva
During the official launch of the Sexual Gender Based Violence (SBGV) clinic at Wilkins hospital Thursday, the National Aids Council (NAC) Provincial AIDS Coordinator, Adonija Muzondiona said by the end of 2014, NAC recorded a significant number of sexual violence which consequently contributed to the spread of HIV and AIDS.
“By the end of 2014,NAC recorded a total of 6905 women who were sexually abused and 541 men who also experienced the same fate, of the 7446 clients who were sexually abused ,434 tested positive for HIV representing a positivity rate of 5.8%.
“Sadly, sexual violence is high among young girls aged between 11-16 years as highlighted in the NAC annual report”, said Muzondiona.
The NAC coordinator said in order to curb the problem, the organization came up with a decentralized taskforce operating throughout the country providing the required services.
“ In order to reduce the number of cases in our country NAC has established Gender Based Violence Taskforce in all districts to enhance coordination and effective response to Sexual Gender Based Violence and HIV”, Muzondiona explained.
Before the launch of the Wilkins clinic, only Mbare poly Clinic run by MSF Belgium was the only service provider for SBGV survivors.
Speaking on the same occasion, City Health Department Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said statistics reveal a total of 1 188 survivors were attended to the Mbare clinic in 2014.
“Of concern is the fact that only 32 % of the survivors attended to in 2014 reported for medical services within 72 hours, though this figure is slightly increased to 43% in 2015, it still remains very low and equally worrying to us,” Chonzi said.
The launched SBGV clinics will ensure survivors of the Sexual Gender Based Violence also have access to services such as HIV prevention, HIV testing and Counselling, STI screening and treatment.
Wilkins clinic has been made possible through a collaborative effort between City of Harare, Ministries of Health and Child Care, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, EU and UNFPA.
The clinic is a 24 – hour facility offering free services to the general public in order to minimize access barriers, since many potential clients belong to the urban poor.