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CASES of sexual and gender-based violence are on the increase and, in most cases, victims are young girls aged between 11 and 16 years, according to the country’s health management information system.
This was revealed during the official launch of the Sexual Gender Based Violence clinic at Wilkins hospital Thursday.
National Aids Council (NAC) Harare Provincial AIDS Coordinator Adonija Muzondiona said by the end of 2014, NAC recorded a significant number of sexual violence cases which consequently contributed to the spread of HIV and AIDS.
“By the end of 2014, NAC recorded a total of 6,905 women who were sexually abused and 541 men who also experienced the same fate, of the 7,446 clients who were sexually abused, 434 tested positive for HIV.
“Sadly, sexual violence is high among young girls aged between 11-16 years as highlighted in the NAC annual report,” said Muzondiona.
The NAC coordinator said in order to curb the problem, the organisation came up with a decentralized taskforce operating throughout the country providing the required services.
Before the launch of the Wilkins clinic, the Mbare Poly Clinic, run by MSF Belgium, was the only service provider for victims of violence in Harare.
Harare city health department director Dr Prosper Chonzi said statistics reveal that a total of 1,188 survivors were attended to at the Mbare clinic in 2014.
“Of concern is the fact that only 32 % of the survivors attended to in 2014 reported for medical services within 72 hours, though this figure slightly increased to 43% in 2015, it still remains very low and equally worrying to us,” Chonzi said.
The clinics will ensure survivors of violence also have access to services such as HIV prevention, testing and counselling, screening and treatment.
Wilkins clinic has been made possible through collaborative efforts between the city of Harare, the ministries of health, women affairs, the EU and the United Nations.
The clinic is a 24–hour facility offering free services to the general public in order to minimise access barriers since many potential clients belong to the urban poor. Source-newzimbabwe