SSMJ November 2023
Gender-based violence (GBV) is defined as violence committed against a person because of their sex or gender. It is forcing another person to do something against their will through violence, coercion, threats, deception, cultural expectations, or economic means. GBV disproportionately affects girls and women. The global statistics indicate that 1 in 3 of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
News, Reports and Policy
Letter to the editor - Harmful traditional practice – Infant Oral Mutilation
Dr Bashir Aggrey Abbas Meseka
Dr Peter Lado Aggrey Jaden
Applications for postgraduate Training Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund (GMCTF)
Sexual violence is a worldwide problem that requires a multipronged approach to provide survivors with the basic needs they require. Healthcare workers must know how to manage rape survivors to provide medical care, psychosocial first aid, and referral for further management and assessment if needed. The eight steps in managing rape are: Preparing to receive and offer medical care to rape survivor, Preparing the survivor for the clinical examination, History taking, Forensic evidence collection, Genital examination, Treatment of infection, Counselling and Follow-up.
Deaths among under-5 year old children have reduced significantly in recent years but this reduction has been slow for deaths during the neonatal period. Neonatal deaths contribute up to 53.1% of all deaths among children aged under five in low and middle-income countries. Complications due to preterm birth constitute a major cause (36%) of neonatal deaths. Globally 15 million babies are born preterm every year (1 in 10 babies born) and about one million of these die while many who survive face lifetime disability including cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, visual and hearing problems, and respiratory illness.
Maternal death refers to the death of a woman during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination, regardless of duration or location, from any cause determined or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not accidental. Global estimates for 2017 indicate that there were 295,000 maternal deaths, 35% less than in 2000 when they were estimated at 451,000, of which 86% (254,000) were in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
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From the first Sudanese civil war in 1955 to cyclical conflicts post-independence, the scarlet cord of violence is inextricably woven into the history of South Sudan. Within this shadow of perpetual destabilisation lies a more entrenched issue: gender-based violence (GBV).
The United Nations (UN) defines GBV as “harmful acts directed at an individual or a group of individuals based on their gender” which is “rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms”.
The One Stop Centre at Juba Teaching Hospital offers a package of services for the survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. These include diagnosis and treatment of gender-based violence (GBV)-related injuries and clinical management of rape (CMR), psychological first aid (PFA), and counselling as well as legal support.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) impacts individuals, communities, and societies across the globe. Data from the World Health Organization indicate that 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced VAWG in their lifetime, either through intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Men4Women is a national NGO in South Sudan that recognizes the important role that men and boys can play in preventing VAWG. So, the South Sudan Medical Journal (SSMJ) interviewed Data Emmanuel Gordon, Executive Director of the Men4Women, to learn more about it.
In the course of preparing this issue on gender-based violence, some questions arose, so we asked the two experts in the SSMJ Editorial Board: Dr Koma Akim, a general and obstetric fistula surgeon working in Bor State Hospital in South Sudan, and Dr Nyakomi Adwok, a psychiatrist with working experience in the UK and Kenya.
During the “I Am My Mother’s Wildest Dream” East Africa book tour, strangers shared their stories with us, and soon we learned that my story is not mine alone; it is a reflection of others’ stories and our society as a whole. Most of the stories we have heard fall into one of the following categories: child marriage, ghost marriage, lack of girl child education, or gender-based violence.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is an annual campaign spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare in partnership with UN agencies, INGOs and Civil Society Organizations.
The resources are grouped under: Government of South Sudan; United Nations and related agencies
Non-governmental organizations/charities: local and international; Miscellaneous Articles in academic journals