The Ministry of Health has expressed concern with the increasing cases of sexual violence especially against women and girls in the country. Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, says this has placed a health burden on the already stressed health care system which lacks adequate manpower.
Ms Masebo explained in an interview in Lusaka today, that this is why there is a multi-sectoral approach to addressing issues of gender-based violence (GBV) targeted at girls and women.
She said currently, most healthcare facilities are overwhelmed with cases of GBV.
She revealed that physical and sexual abuse are the mostly perpetuated cases against girls and women.
Ms Masebo noted that the medical personnel are forced to attend to GBV cases at the expense of other medical conditions as most of them come as emergencies.
The Minister further noted that GBV cases have also resulted in increased disease burden, HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies among others.
She added that despite the government employing about 12,000 health workers this year alone and improving the supply of medicines in health facilities, there is still need for more health care providers across the country.
Ms. Masebo said there is therefore need for strong collaboration among the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the church, police, the community and other stakeholders in fighting vices that are leading to the rise in GBV cases in the country.
She pointed out that there should be increased sensitisations and awareness activities aimed at addressing the causes of GBV.
Zambia will from November 25th to December 10th commemorate the 16 days of Activism against GBV under the theme, ‘Unity: Activism to end violence against women and girls’.