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Healthcare providers at the UWI Mona were recently trained on how to best respond when handling cases that may involve violence against women and girls (VAWG). The workshop was conducted under the Spotlight Initiative in Jamaica. The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of VAWG by 2030.

The sensitization of all sectors of society about VAWG is a key component in addressing this social ill. An important target audience are members of the healthcare system, specifically MBBS and Nursing students at the University of the West Indies, Mona. This demographic needs to understand the gravity of intimate partner violence and sexual violence among the people they serve. This focus of the workshop was  to hone and develop on their role as health care providers to facilitate care and the correct response to survivors. 

One of the goals of the workshop series was to discuss VAWG as a current public health problem and provide an analysis of the behaviours and values required to provide safe and supportive services for survivors. Additionally, the workshop provided a review of the skills that are appropriate to their  profession and specialty to respond to VAWG. Participants were also given information about the resources available from UN agencies to support the sensitization. 

UNFPA as well as the European Union funded Spotlight Initiative, the University of the West Indies, Mona and the Government of Jamaica will continue to partner in 2022 to address this pervasive public health issue and seek to provide the necessary services needed to assist survivors.