In Zimbabwe SGBV is a serious problem mostly affecting women. According to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2010/11, approximately 1 in 3 women, aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence, and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence, since the age of 15. SGBV typically occurs during times when dedicated health facilities are closed, at night or often over weekends. Available facilities only provide services from Monday-Friday and during working hours (8am to 5pm). The launch of the new clinic will ensure that survivors of SGBV will have access to free emergency care all round the clock.
"Government is very committed to improving access to health services for the poor," said Dr. David Parirenyatwa, Minister of Health and Child Care. "We are very pleased to be part of the launch of this new free clinic which removes barriers to access to health care for the urban poor."
The SGBV clinic will ensure survivors of SGBV also have access to services such as HIV prevention; HIV testing and counseling and STI screening and treatment. According to data from the Health Management Information System and the 2010/11 ZDHS less than 10% of female SGBV survivors aged 15 years and above report to health facilities for case management. It is envisaged that the availability of this new service will encourage survivors of sexual gender-based violence to access essential services.
"When these survivors of sexual gender based violence walk into our clinic they will have gone through traumatic experiences and we must make them feel at home," said Dr. Prosper Chonzi, Director of City Health Department. "We give our commitment as the City Health Department that this new clinic will deliver quality health services that will make a difference in the lives of survivors of sexual, gender based violence."
The launch of this clinic has been made possible through a collaborative effort between City of Harare, Ministries of Health and Child Care and Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partners and UNFPA.
"Addressing SGBV requires a concerted effort. It is encouraging to note that this launch has brought together various key stakeholders who are committed to ensuring access to key services for survivors of SGBV," said UNFPA Country Representative Cheikh Tidiane Cisse.
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