News

Training of Trainers completed on improving mental health and psychosocial support services of medical staff in South Kivu

04-04-2024

From 4 to 13 March 2024 the Training of Trainers took place In Peace Guest House in Kamembe (Rwanda), a neighbouring town of Bukavu (DRC).

10 participants (4 women and 6 men) were trained to - in their turn - train medical and paramedical staff on issues related to sexuality and to sexual abuse of women and men with a focus on mental health and psychosocial support in South-Kivu.

At the opening of the training session, the local project coordinator from Living Peace Institute (LPI), Mr Simon Kanyaruhago, welcomed all the participants and urged them to make a sustained effort to during the cascade training of health care providers in the 21 structures identified in 7 health zones.

All 10 trainers were equipped with the knowledge and skills to start training the 315 staff members of SOSAME and its 21 affiliated health centres. Mrs Henny Slegh (MSM/LPI) and Dr Benoit Ruratototye (LPI) were the trainers for this two week course. Positive evaluations show that the selected SOSAME trainers highly valued the in-depth course.

About SOSAME: Improving mental health and psychosocial support services of medical staff in South Kivu working with women, girls, boys and men affected by SGBV
Many people living in communities in the province of South-Kivu develop severe trauma related symptoms that are not well addressed due to lack of knowledge and skills at community health centre level. Since sexuality is often a taboo even for health care providers, mental health and psychosocial support of problems related to sexuality/ abuse of women and men is seriously hindered. Patients receive medication, get gender unfriendly advices, and causes of the symptoms are neglected. Severe cases arrive too late and are only treated with medication to reduce the symptoms. Moreover, many people from communities never come to hospitals. They seek care of traditional healers and many patients with severe symptoms (including survivors of SGBV) are hidden by the family out of shame and social taboos. If health care providers in the community are better able to address mental and sexual health care issues in the communities (as opposed to being referred to us), this would dramatically reduce the workload of our hospital. Furthermore, de-medicalisation of trauma related problems will improve accessibility of care for all people suffering of symptoms that can be treated through community based MHPSS.

In this project, SOSAME and 21 affiliated health centres are supported to improve their sexual and reproductive health and mental health services. The training takes a gender transformative approach to train medical and paramedical staff on issues related to sexuality and to sexual abuse of women and men with a focus on mental health and psychosocial support. The TMT+ contributes to more sexual and reproductive rights and better sexual and mental health services to communities in South-Kivu who are currently denied from that.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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