Children who are sexually abused in Lupane can now access the services in child friendly environment, an environment which allows them to tell their story freely to the nurses.
This is after Family Support Trust, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, last week, officially opened a child friendly clinic at St Lukes Provincial Hospital in Matabeleland North.
The clinic is going to be of much help to children from within the area which has got very high cases of child marriages and teenage pregnancies. Other types of child sexual abuse such as rape are also common in the area.
The clinic, the first of its kind in the province was opened by the Provincial Medical Director for Matabeleland North. The clinic offers medical services and psychosocial support services .The clinic was newly built by FST who also supplied equipment to the survivor friendly clinic.
The clinic at St Luke’s hospital will become a hub which provides medical services to people coming from areas as far as Nkayi, Hwange and Binga.
In a speech read by the Provincial Health Services Administrator Mr Mushate on behalf of Matebeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Dr Nyasha Masuka, he said there are several effects that come as a result of child abuse.
The PMD said that “it is important to note that survivors of this predicament are at high risk of STI infection, HIV and AIDS, unwanted pregnancies and adoption of risk sexual abuse and suicide. Later in life they are bound to experience sexual dysfunction than their non-abused counterparts.
“As such it is imperative that their management should be done in a conducive environment to enable healing and smooth integration back into the society in line with the broad Ministry of Health and Child Care strategy which is therapeutic to the survivor in an a non-threatening environment, ”
Mr Masuka added that the programme was successful as a result of the collaboration between the community, health workers, the police, social services, schools, Ministry of Health and Child Care and non-governmental organisations.
Also speaking during the official opening of the clinic FST Director, Mrs Effie Malianga said the clinics belonged to the Ministry of Health and Child Care which will be responsible for their maintenance. “The MoHCC was the one which also gave FST the mandate to replicate these survivor friendly clinics at Provincial and District hospitals .These clinics are MoHCC’s clinics, we only assist in establishing them so you must embrace them as part of the MoHCC,” she said.
St Luke’s clinic is the eighth of such clinics. The journey to establish St Luke’s survivor friendly clinic was long and we join you in celebrating the long awaited clinic. The establishment of this clinic was made possible under funding through FST from the Child Protection Fund which is under the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children.
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