The County government of Kakamega together with Health Promotion organization (HP), Youth Alive Kenya and other partners have launched 16-days of activism against Gender Based Violence(GBV) that will go up to 10th December 2021.
Speaking during the event, the County Governor’s wife Priscilla Oparanya said this year marks 30th anniversary of the campaign themed ‘Orange the World, End Violence against Women’.
“GBV whether physical, sexual, emotional or economic is recognised globally as one of the most widespread and persistent violation of the rights of women and girls,” she said.
Mrs. Oparanya said one in three women experience some form of physical or sexual violence which is unacceptable hence need for a lot of efforts to address the issue.
Priscilla encouraged the county assembly, government ministries, development partners, private sectors, the civil societies, organizations, men and women to speak with one voice on the need to eliminate GBV and teenage pregnancy.
The County Director for Health Services Dr. John Otieno said that during the 16-days activism against GBV, they will carry out sensitizations to mobilise communities in all sub counties to rise against GBV and encourage them to report cases to the concerned authorities.
“When girls are violated sexually at a tender age, they end up getting pregnant which leads to complications during delivery and can even lead to death, they are also at a high risk of contracting HIV/ AIDS,” he said.
He explained that girls also experience psychological trauma as they feel ashamed after rape and defilement which affect them throughout their lives.
He added that GBV affects school enrolment as the affected drop out of school.
“Parents should be vigilant and mentor their children both girls and boys, to advise appropriately to be aware of GBV so that they don’t find themselves in situations that can expose them to the risks of being violated,” said Okello.
He advised parents to love and provide adequately for their children so that they are not lured by favours and money by people who might end up violating them.
The Director revealed that Kakamega was ranked as second countrywide last year in cases of teenage pregnancies, rape and physical violence with Shinyalu, Ikolomani, Malava and Butere sub counties recording the highest number.
Okello urged community members to report any suspected cases of violence so that the victim can receive urgent medical treatment and the perpetrator punished.
He advised the public to dial 1195 to reach for assistance in case of violence.
By Margaret Andeso