Ministry of Health to Integrate U.S.-Funded One-Stop Centers into Fight Against GBV

KAFUE – During a formal ceremony at the Kafue District Hospital, the United States Ambassador to Zambia, Mr. Daniel L. Foote, officially handed over the Kafue anti-Gender-Based Violence (GBV) One-Stop Center (OSC) to Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya.

The handover symbolizes the official transfer of all 16 OSCs established under the USAID Stamping Out and Preventing Gender-Based Violence (STOP GBV) project with funding provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID).

In his remarks at the ceremony, Minister Chilufya assured the U.S. government, DfID, and the Zambian people on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) that the OSCs will continue to have the full support of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and other collaborating Zambian line ministries, including the Ministries of Gender, Community Development and Social Services, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Justice, and Home Affairs.  He emphasized the GRZ’s commitment to fully owning the OSCs and their anti-GBV mission and to integrating them into regular MoH operations and oversight so as to ensure the proper and judicious use of the important resources that the OSCs represent. He also highlighted the GRZ’s intention to increase the number of OSCs to include as many MoH health facilities as possible, country-wide.

The STOP GBV project ran from October 2012 to March 2018, with a budget of $27.4 million and using an integrated approach.  Implementing partners World Vision, the Zambia Center for Communication Programs (ZCCP), and the Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) organization worked closely with the GRZ to set up the initial 16 OSCs, in order to provide comprehensive services to survivors of GBV.

OSCs are meant to not only look after the physical well-being of GBV survivors, but to address their psychological and emotional needs as well, and in a holistic way.  Services provided by OSCs include medical examinations, access to post-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PEP), the provision of emergency contraceptives; psychosocial counseling; legal advice; police support; and referrals for resources such as lodging at safe houses for victims unable to immediately return to their homes.

Ambassador Foote proudly stated that “with U.S. and U.K. funding, our partnership has established 16 anti-GBV One-Stop Centers, housed in Government health facilities, which, over five years, have served nearly 65,000 GBV survivors.”  Over 13,000 survivors have accessed legal advice, and over 900 cases have been taken to court for prosecution.

Other major accomplishments of the project include the creation of the electronic Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBV IMS), created in collaboration with the GRZ Central Statistics Office in order to help gather and manage data from GBV cases.  Further, in recognition of the major role that traditional leaders play in Zambia in maintaining or changing the social norms of their chiefdoms and communities, the STOP GBV project has been both active and successful in engaging with them in preventing GBV.  Ninety-one Senior Chiefs and over 1,600 Indunas and Headmen have signed the Traditional Leadership Engagement Strategy for Preventing GBV.  Ten Senior Chiefs have established anti-GBV secretariats at their palaces, and created anti-GBV structures in their chiefdoms.