Around 37 participants, including doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, the District Social Welfare Officer, One Stop Centre members, and representatives from local NGOs in Ri-Bhoi District, actively engaged in an Interface cum Panel Discussion organized by NEN Meghalaya in collaboration with Civil Hospital, Nongpoh. The event focused on the “Importance of Health Care Response to Gender-Based Violence Against Women.”
The panellists featured Dr. D. Blah, Assistant DMHO of Ri Bhoi District; Eric K Dkhar, MCS, Assistant Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District, who delivered the keynote address highlighting the crucial role of healthcare professionals in addressing gender-based violence against women (GBVAW) and provided insights into the effective implementation of initiatives. Other panellists included Anurita Hazarika, Executive Director (I/C) of NEN, who discussed NEN’s role in combating GBVAW and strengthening healthcare responses; Iaimanda A Ryngksai, State Coordinator, NEN Meghalaya, who set the context; Dr. Naomi Sangma and Dr. S Kharmawphlang, Medical Superintendent and Nodal Officer of Civil Hospital Nongpoh, respectively, who addressed the implementation of NEN-CeHAT-Civil Hospital work and identified gaps and challenges in the response to GBVAW.
Sangeeta Rege of CeHAT Mumbai explored the role of One Stop Centres (OSCs) and hospitals in addressing and redressing GBVAW. Emidaki Kharshandy, District Social Welfare Officer of East Khasi Hills, represented the Directorate of Social Welfare, while WPSI W Khongsit, represented the office of the Superintendent of Police, Ri-Bhoi District and discussed the role of OSCs and the police in supporting healthcare responses to GBV.
The discussions emphasised the importance of recognizing GBV as a public health concern and the need for a survivor-centric, multi-sectoral approach to mitigate it. The outcomes of the discussions included suggestions for reviewing GBVAW cases responded by Civil Hospital Nongpoh in the existing district-level Core Committee, implementing a Capacity Building Program for HCPs, counsellors and mental health professionals in the District, and organizing OSC visits to hospitals through ward rounds and awareness programs within the hospital.