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Support us to battle GBV in your localities – Group urges Anambra communities



By Praise Chinecherem

Civil Society For The Eradication of Tuberculosis in Nigeria (TB Network) has solicited support from communities in Anambra State towards the fight of growing cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other related issues in the state.

State Coordinator, TB Network, Anambra State, Ifeyinwa Unachukwu made the call at the April monthly review meeting of ATM CBOs implementing COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) in the state.

She said the meeting was to introduce the commencement of the extension of the Global Fund Civil Society and community level components of the GC-7 C19RM/RSSH project in the State.

She said, “Access to health is a fundamental human rights. Therefore, every member of the community must have access to the facilities.

“Besides making community members take ownership of the PHCs in their localities, we’ll be identifying persons whose rights have been denied or trampled upon as well as survivors of domestic violence.

“We’re going to have Case Managers who will be reporting issues of GBV to the Community-Led Monitoring Teams at the 15 communities in the five Local Government Areas of the state.

“In cases of rape, we’ll ensure such victims have access to services to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases within 72 hours. If it’s something that needs attention of state or federal government, like National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Ministry of Women Affairs, RULAC and other NGOs, we’ll escalate it to them.

“When an illness is covered, it can kill. When you refuse to expose cases of GBV probably because of fear of stigmatization, you’re also breaking the Child Rights law. The hunter can be the hunted.

“We’ll be carrying out aggressive sensitization campaign for the people to understand what GBV is, its causes, why it should not be covered and how it can be prevented.

“We’re calling on communities to support us. We’re not asking for their money because this is a voluntary work and it’s our own way of contributing to the society to make it safer place to live.

Earlier, Programme Officer, C19 RSSH for the project in Anambra, Samuel Ololo explained that the one-year C19RM Grant for the January to December 2024 period was being implemented through National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), while coalition of the Civil Society Networks on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM Networks) in Nigeria was supporting the intervention.

He said implementing the community component of the grant was aimed at reducing factors that result to disruption of essential health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in preparedness for future pandemics and epidemics.

He added, “TB Network as the lead network amongst the ATM Networks in Anambra State will coordinate Community Based Organizations (CBOs) efforts on oversight, sustained advocacy to decision makers particularly at the state and LGAs levels, monitoring and evaluating results, participating in policy formulation and in mobilizing resources for COVID-19 and ATM health interventions.

“Throughout the duration of this grant, TB Network will be working in 5 selected LGAs with reportedly high COVID-19 and ATM disease burdens as well as GF facilities that are currently rendering COVID-19 vaccines and services.

“The Community-led Monitoring and Advocacy efforts will be implemented at the LGA and state level by 15 CBOs through Community-Led Monitoring Teams (3 members of the CLMT per LGA).

“Each Community-Led Monitoring Team (CLMT) comprises a representative of the Ward Development Committee (WDC) or CHIPs; a Community Representative and a Program staff of the CBO.

“The issues that arise from the activities of the CLMTs that cannot be resolved at the community level are escalated to serve as advocacy issues on which the State Advocacy Team will engage with relevant MDAs and stakeholders for possible resolution at the state level.

“To achieve the objectives of the C19RM Grant, the following strategic interventions will be implemented throughout the duration of the project: Gender-Based Violence and Post-Violence Care; Response to Human Rights and Gender-Related Barriers to Services and Community-Led Monitoring and Advocacy as well as Social Mobilization.”
On his part, State Malaria Control Officer, State Ministry of Health, Pharm. Nonso Ndibe commended relevant stakeholders for the commitment they had demonstrated towards the project, urging them to up the ante.

“No doubt, some of you may not be indigenes of the state, but as residents you’ll be happy with the impact you’re making to better the lot of the state,” he added.

He restated the continued support of the state government towards ensuring a seemless exercise, adding, “We want Anambra to be a flagship state for others to emulate.”

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