By ikenna Osuoha
The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) called for action by federation states to end all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.
Professor Benjamin Uzochukwu, national president of the association, made the appeal in a statement made available to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja by Ms. Kori Habib, media associate, United Nations Fund for the population (UNFPA).
Uzochukwu, in a six-point call to action, urged all states in Nigeria to incorporate the Prohibition of Violence Against People Act (VAPP) to stem the tide of GBV.
The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN): Calls on all States to adopt the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons Act (VAPP) and the Child Rights Act ( CRA) to do so without further delay, in order to protect our women and girls, ”he urged.
The doctors also highlighted the need to strengthen the country’s law enforcement and awareness of the law regarding violence against women and girls.
“Beyond passing laws, we need to strengthen law enforcement and awareness of the law on gender-based violence.
“Everyone should understand that violence against women and girls is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated. “
In addition, the National President reiterated the call for legislation against GBV, called on all states to set up a sex offender registry to name and humiliate perpetrators and end impunity around GBV.
He added: “We call on every state government to establish and fund at least one gender-based violence response center and house in their state with staff paid by the government deployed and with effective links to others. support services that survivors may need.
“We call for the creation of at least one forensic laboratory in each geopolitical area of the country to support the prosecution of GBV perpetrators. “
The association has also united in appealing to the National Health Council to declare free medical care for survivors of GBV and to appoint a focal point for GBV in every health facility in Nigeria to help survivors navigate health facilities in a timely manner.
NAN recalls that the six-point call to action was launched at the 37th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) which was held June 15-17. in Abuja.
One of the themes of this year’s conference was to highlight the growing wave of violence against women and girls in Nigeria and to propose solutions.
As early as 1996, the World Health Assembly declared violence against women a major public health problem that urgently needed to be addressed by governments and health organizations.
GBV causes a host of health problems that further deplete the resources of health systems, limit women’s growth and productivity, and hamper the well-being of families and communities.
It also prevents governments from achieving national goals related to health and the advancement of women. (NAA)