ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) in partnership with Gwarinpa General Hospital has launched the Ending Child Marriage Project to reduce early marriage and increase access to comprehensive VesicoVaginal Fistula (VVF) Information and services within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Other goals of the 6-months project which was funded by ActionAid Italy is to support the establishment of a functional fistula care centre in Gwarinpa General Hospital within the FCT.
The Director, Resource Mobilisation and Innovation, ActionAid Nigeria, Nkechi Ilochi-Kanny during the inception meeting at the weekend in Abuja explained that the launch of the project which is December 1,2023 is apt because it falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Base Violence(GBV) and World Aids Day.
She said most often, causes of GBV and VVF can be linked around issues of GBV because girls who are not ready for marriage or child bearing are forced into it.
“We see it as a significant issue that falls within the 16 Days of Activism where all of us as both state and non state actors are working towards and joining our voices with the global communities to galvanize action towards ending all forms for gender base violence in the lives of women and girls .
“ActionAid see this as a very important issue that all of us would join hands collectively to respond. I enjoin us all to reflect on this journey and what your role is as humans in this response and what we should do as institutions and organizations towards ending all forms of violence against Women and Girls,” she said.
She said they are partnering with Gwarinpa Hospital but they are still seeking collaborations with UNICEF, UNFPA, NHRC, NOA, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women Affairs, NAPTIP, Ministry of Justice etc for them to come in as stakeholders on the project.
Also,the Chief Medical Director of Gwarinpa general hospital, Dr Halima Bello represented by the Head of Nursing /DDNS, Saliu E. Habiba said Gwarinpa general hospital is a Mother and child friendly hospital which has been at the fore front of taking care of women, children and trying to end early marriage and abuses .
She said recently, they have had some training about Gender Base Violence which they preach to Anti-nantal mothers and patients.
She said in July this year, some medical Doctors, Nurses and Health personnels were trained on the management of VVF and they did 15 surgeries on VVF .
She further said on Monday this week, they are taking another set of surgery, “we have 30 women that came but the surgery will start from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week . We are very happy on this partnership”.
According to the Women’s Right Manager, ActionAid Nigeria, Niri Goyit in her presentation on the project in FCT said the project will strengthen health care systems to provide and sustain quality services for survivors of VVF.
Also, she said the project will make provision for medical and psychosocial services ,awareness creation and referral of treatment amongst others.