Health workers at Comprehensive Health Centre, Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Council of Anambra state, have raised an alarm over incessant gender-based violence in the area.
During a free medical outreach offered by Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, the parent hospital, the Assistant Director, Nursing, Mrs. Chinwe Nwegbu, said no less than 20 cases of rape and related violence had been recorded very recently, including the rape of a seven-year-old boy by a 22-year-old man.
Mrs. Nwegbu lamented that in most cases such violence result in the transmission of HIV virus from the abuser to the victim.
She also complained about housewife battery.
For these reasons, she said, the hospital embarked on house-to-house and school-to-school visits and counseling.
While addressing the press, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Joe Ugbaja and Head of the Health Centre, Dr. Mrs. Chika Ubajiaka, said the outreach was meant to provide free medical and surgical services to the people.
Ugbaja explained that the hospital is located in a rural environment where people have difficulty in accessing medical services and given the economic realities the hospital must reach out to its main catchment area.
He said that as a teaching hospital with the health centre as its outstation it considered it as its corporate responsibility to look after its people.
He explained that the services are in three phases: public education, screening, tests and consultation before drugs are dispensed.
The surgeries it cannot do in the health centre, he said, are referred to the Teaching Hospital.
Collaborating Ugbaja, Mrs. Ubajiaka said the health centre tackled common ailments that are common among rural dwellers among which are high blood pressure, malaria, diabetes, malnutrition and so on.
She said the Teaching Hospital chose a festive period so as to reach out to as many people as possible.
She, however, identified some challenges facing the centre and said it looks forward to getting some corporate organisations and public-spirited individuals to partner with.
Staff of different units educated patients on different aspects of health care.