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Feb 28, 2023

A Training to Prevent, Respond to Gender-based Violence During Health Emergencies

Today, the Pan American Health Organization began a training of trainers on the prevention and response to gender-based violence during health emergencies. The workshop seeks to train frontline healthcare workers and social workers to train others on the importance of gender-based violence and providing care and support to survivors especially during times of disasters. It is said that during hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic, women and girls are at increased risk of abuse and violence. And so it is important for those who interface with them on a daily basis to be able to detect those who may be victims of gender-based violence. PAHO Country Representative, Doctor Karen Lewis-Bell spoke to the media about the training.


Karen Lewis-Bell

Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, Country Representative, PAHO/WHO

“To have the skills and knowledge available to them to be able to detect, in a timely manner, persons who may be victims or potential victims of gender-based violence and to be able to provide the support they need, especially the refer mechanisms to services that can provide help to them. And so this is really a continuation of the support that has been provided to Belize. It started with virtual training sessions and this is now a face-to-face training session for trainers who will be expected to go to each of the districts in Belize and replicate this training so that we can build on the capacity, increase the number of persons, working in the health and social sectors who will be able to detect in a very timely manner persons who may be at risk for gender-based violence so that they can provide the support that they need, so that we can prevent it and certainly increase the survivorship of persons who are victims of gender-based violence. The accident and emergency departments are also places where victims of gender-based violence will interface and be the entry point to the health sector. So through the primary healthcare setting, the accident and emergency departments of hospital and through the social sector – you know, through the education system, social services – these are the entry points that persons who are victims of gender-based violence where they may interface.”

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