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Research to establish the root causes of GBV

There is need to conduct a research to establish the main factors contributing to Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Makueni County, a Psychologist at Makueni County Referral Hospital Penninah Ndonye has said.

Consequently, Ndonye noted that the concerted efforts from both levels of government and the civil society will ensure eradication of GBV in the county that is impacting negatively on the family institution.

The psychologist made the remarks at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Hall in Wote town, where a meeting for the Makueni Gender Sector Working Group (GSWG) was held to review their progress and also project what they intend to do in the first quarter next year.

Though Ndonye said marital conflict, drug and substance abuse and illiteracy and land issues were some of the factors contributing to GBV, she said this wasn’t conclusive as no research had been done.

“Marital conflicts, use of drugs and land issues has led to either divorce or separation of spouses. This has resulted to children seeking shelter elsewhere, hence exposing them to abuse at an early age. Women get killed in some situations. That is why we need an intentional research to eradicate this vice,” she said.

During the meeting, Ndonye who is also in charge of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Centre at the hospital said that teenage pregnancies were high in Kibwezi Sub County, besides Mbooni being another hotspot of GBV cases in the area.

She further said that since the inception of the SGBV centre, they have handled over 1900 cases to date during the period under review.

Consequently, she revealed they are going to have a programme intended in reducing teenage pregnancies besides training them on health education, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.

They also intend to strengthen post-natal to the teenage mothers as they give birth in health facilities across the county.

“We have seen young girls giving birth at an early age. We intend to enlighten them on post-natal education immediately after giving birth,” she said.

Speaking at the same meeting, Makueni County National Aids Coordinator, Mr Joseph Kavoi, said that during the Devolution Conference held at Makueni Boys High School on November 23rd to 26th, over 28,000 male condoms were distributed.

Kavoi said that the condoms were distributed at the lodgings within Wote town and its environs and also at the venue of the conference during the four-day event.

“The use of condoms is due to the information and knowledge given to the consumers who now understand how to use some form of protection. Initially we used to distribute 11,500 condoms in the town,” he said.

By Patrick Nyakundi

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