29 September 2020 – The WHO country office in Pakistan provides technical support to the Government of Pakistan, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and provincial health departments to scale up the health system's response to gender-based violence and strengthen service provision to survivors at the health facility level based on a nationally endorsed health response package and clinical protocols. As part of this support a training of trainers course for gynaecologists on health system prevention and response to gender-based violence, including sexual violence, facility-based clinical case management, care provision (including pyschosocial support and referrals associated with COVID-19) in Punjab province was conducted from 21 to 24 September 2020 in Lahore.
The training aimed to strengthen health facility-based essential service provision for survivors facing gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was conducted in collaboration with the Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (affiliated with the South Asian Federation of Gynaecologists) and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics' committee on gender-based violence to integrate gender-based violence in sexual and reproductive health and rights. The training aims to improve the safety of service provision and readiness for women and girls facing domestic violence during pregnancy and childbirth.
Eighteen senior health professionals (gynaecologists) from 10 health facilities in Punjab and periphery areas were trained. Sexual and reproductive health and rights- related areas associated with the COVID-19 pandemic were integrated in training content. Participants developed a facility-based training plan for implementation in their respective health facilities and committed to further strengthen related case management, reporting and recording at facility level to provide real time data.
Ms Ayesha Iqbal, a member of the provincial parliament of Punjab, distributed certificates and acknowledged WHO support in strengthening the health system's response to gender-based violence and providing guidance on the COVID-19 response.