The County Government seeks to strengthen gender-based violence (GBV) services, through improved partner coordination at the sub-county level.
In a validation meeting of the research findings of an assessment of the quality of post-GBV services conducted in June and July 2023, it revealed that gaps exist at the county, partner, and community levels.
The research, supported by the National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) and Jhpiego Kenya, sought to assess the quality of GBV services in the county.
According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, Turkana GBV prevalence is at 42% against the national average of 35%. This is an indication that it is a high-burden county.
In presenting the research findings, the County Health Records Officer, Peter Etee noted that the high prevalence was majorly due to the lack of awareness, harmful cultural practices such as child marriages, and lack of knowledge of what can be termed as GBV.
He further highlighted the low reporting was due to barriers such as cost of access and backlash from the community.
The County GBV Services Coordinator, Shadrack Elim, said the research has articulated the gaps that the County Government particularly the County Departments of Health and of Gender, and partners need to address to enhance the provision of GBV services.
The intention of GBV services is to have respectful and client-centered care with an emphasis on follow-ups of the survivors.
This led to the consideration of offering the services in primary healthcare by developing a package for community health promoters (CHPs).
Under the guidance of Dr Rose Waruguru from Nascop, the participants developed an action that sought to address the gaps they identified in the research.
Partner representatives that attended were; Plan International, Kenya Red Cross, World Vision Kenya, TUPADO, International Rescue Committee, Echuman Rehabilitative Services, National Council of People with Disability, State Department of Child Protection, Kenya Police and Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development.