Yenagoa—The Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT), an umbrella body of gender advocacy groups in Bayelsa State has declared readiness to partner with the Bayelsa State Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS) for the provision of health insurance for victims of sexual and domestic violence in the state, Leadership newspaper reports.
According to GRIT record, the rising cases of sexual and domestic assault and quick accessibility to health care is challenging with recorded cases of 12 victims of defilement, Five cases of battery, 20 cases of abandonment and two victims murdered in the last few years.
The Chairman of GRIT, Barr. Dise Ogbise, while speaking on Monday during a one-day capacity building workshop on existing legislation to curb sexual and gender abuse, said the training of gender advocacy groups in the state will properly empower them to tackle the issue of gender-based violence and proffer more solutions to ways of adequate treatment of victims.
Ogbise also agreed with the proposed establishment of SARC in all hospitals in the state and linking of victims into the State Insurance Scheme.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Bayelsa Medical University (BMA), Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu in his speech commended the GRIT for the advocacy efforts to protect the girl child but called on the advocacy groups to ensure that they partner with the hospitals and health insurance providers in the state to provide treatment to victims of domestic violence.
Etebu pointed out that the advocacy groups are faced with a lack of funds, advising that victims should be hooked on the existing insurance scheme to ensure quick treatment in hospitals. He also called for the inclusion of subjects on Gender violence and consequences in the State school curriculum.
In his submission, the Executive Secretary of BHIS, Dr. Zuoboemi Agadah commended the GRIT and other advocacy groups for suggesting ways to link victims of domestic violence into the insurance scheme.
Earlier in her speech, the wife of Bayelsa State Governor, Dr. Gloria Diri throw her weight behind the proposed inclusion of the victim of domestic violence in the State Insurance Scheme and also urged the Judiciary to speed up the hearing into rising cases of domestic violence.
She commended the GRIT team led by Barr. Ogbise and described the advocacy campaign as selfless and called on the state government to allocate office space in every hospital to handle issues of treatment.