At the inauguration ceremony, Deputy Governor Camara warned that the work has just begun and therefore, urged all to tighten their belts to make sure the expectations of the centre are met. Malang Saibo emphasised that men should not be left out of issues on gender based violence because those affected are men’s mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and granddaughters and thus men should care.
The CEO of Bansang Hospital Mr. Baba Jeng renewed his commitment and that of the Senior Management Team to ensure effective functioning of the centre by supplementing the efforts of the Network Against Gender Based Violence in response to GBV cases. “Reporting and exposing culprits of GBV is critical and needs to be encouraged from community members as without reporting of cases the centre will be useless”, he noted.
ActionAid’s Programme Specialist for Women’s Rights Fanta Jatta Sowe, representing ActionAid’s Executive Director stressed the need for health workers to be sensitive to GBV and applauded the management of Bansang Hospital for its commitment to the establishment of the One-stop centre. Fanta urged the Alkalo and community members of Bansang and its surrounding villages to be committed to the cause of making their villages violence free by reporting, naming and shaming perpetrators.
Haddy Mboge Barrow, the Coordinator of the Network Against Gender Based Violence suggested the setting up of an operational and strong ‘Care Team’ comprising health workers, police officers, social workers and possibly lawyers and other important partners to be responsible for the management of GBV cases, follow-ups and collection of GBV data. Mrs. Mboge Barrow also requested for the cooperation of the hospital management on the on-going clinical research on FGM which is currently being carried out at the hospital as one of the research sites for the AmplifyChange funded project on FGM. “It is hope that the research will give Gambian advocates home grown evidence to support the campaign against FGM in our communities”, she stated.
Earlier, the Alkalo of Bansang Mr. Kebba Kora, welcomed the gathering, noting that traditionally victims of GBV used to go to three different centres namely; the health facility, the police and social welfare and sometimes even to the Alkalo or Chief. This he said usually leads to delay in cases, re-traumatization of victims and compromising of cases. “With the opening of the one-stop centre, I hope all these problems in managing GBV cases will be history”, Alkalo Kora concluded. The vote of thanks was given by Dr. Nyassi of Bansang hospital who gave assurances that the One-Stop-Centre will be properly maintained. ----END----