MSF Ends Campaign On Rape, Gender-Based Violence In UniPort

International humanitarian medical organisation, Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, has ended an advocacy and awareness campaign on healthcare and gender-based violence for students of the University. The one-day campaign was mounted in collaboration with Port Harcourt-based Cool Wazobia Info FM Radio.
The event held last Wednesday at the Convocation Arena, University Park, as part of the 2017 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration with the theme: Be Bold For Change. Leader of MSF in Port Harcourt, Cedric Linossier, disclosed that the event was necessitated by the need to create more awareness about rape and sexual violence targeted at young people who make up majority of the student population in the University. He promised that MSF would mount follow-up visits to create heightened awareness on the activities of the organisation and how persons who experience rape and gender-based violence can benefit from its intervention programmes that would enable them pick up the pieces.
“In future, we look forward to holding more of such advocacy programmes as an information-sharing strategy on health, including how to handle the emotional, psychological and social implications of rape and what affected persons can do to ameliorate their situation. We cover all sectors of the public, including schools, hospitals and local communities and help is available at any time we are approached,” he promised.
In her introduction on the activities of MSF and presentation on Rape and Sexual Violence (Definition, Misconception, Medical/Impact, Reporting and Seeking help), Dr. Blessing Ejawemoke, told the students that rape was not the only form of sexual violence that adversely affected young people, explaining that both male and female were also prone to other forms of abuse.
“At MSF, we offer free and confidential treatment to survivors of rape and gender-based violence. In line with the theme of this year’s IWD, we encourage affected persons to speak out once they experience cases of rape or violence. We encourage them to visit the MSF clinic at the Orogbum Primary Healthcare Centre within three days of such incident to access free-of-charge counselling and prompt treatment.
In her contribution, a Clinical Psychologist, Annastesia Okonkwo, who dwelt on the topic: Psychological Impact of Sexual Violence/MSF Services and Information about the Clinic, pointed out that five out of ten persons have experienced rape, attempted rape and other forms of gender-based violence that required clinical intervention. She noted that the severity and duration of an assault could change the personality of affected persons if not properly and promptly tackled by medical and allied experts.
“This complicated situation usually leads to depression, substance abuse, aggressive tendencies and other avoidable anti-social behaviours. To get out of such traumatic experiences, abused persons must speak out and seek urgent medical and psychological help. At MSF, we have dedicated medical personnel and psychologists that are on stand-by to attend to those affected by rape and gander-based violence,” Okonkwo assured the students at the well-attended gathering, which ended with practical demonstration of available medical intervention procedures.
You are here: Home News & Events Featured News MSF Ends Campaign On Rape, Gender-Based Violence In UniPort