Virtual self-instructional course course based on the “Technical norm for comprehensive care for victims of gender-based violence and serious human rights violations”

Gender-based violence is a social problem that requires permanent attention by the Ecuadorian State.

In Ecuador, 65 out of 100 women (64.9%) have experienced some type of gender-based violence throughout their lives. According to statistics, 19,962 cases of gender-based violence were registered in health facilities in 2021. 73% of the cases involved sexual violence against children and adolescents between 1 and 19 years old, and 33.55% of the services were for girls and adolescents between 9 and 14 years old. In addition, pregnancies in girls between the ages of 9 and 14 may be associated with sexual violence.

It is essential to provide an instrument to raise awareness and to train the health professionals of the National Health System of Ecuador in the framework of care in cases of gender-based violence. For this reason, the National Directorate of Human Rights, Gender and Inclusion developed a virtual self-instructional course, which includes medical-clinical procedures, care flows for gender-based violence: physical, psychological, and sexual; treatments and antiretrovirals for STIs, HIV, emergency oral contraception, dosed by age, as well as specific procedures for pregnant girls under 14, victims of sexual violence, among others.

The self-instructional virtual course is an instrument developed with the highest professional quality, thanks to the support of international cooperation, UNFPA – IOM, to reach all health personnel. The Ministry of Public Health wants this course to be a valuable tool that allows health professionals to serve victims of gender-based violence with quality and warmth. It is essential that health professionals identify cases of gender-based violence in a timely manner and that they clearly know how to act in this type of situation.

Objectives of the virtual course

  • Train and sensitize the professionals of the National Health System so that they can provide effective and timely care to victims of gender-based violence based on quality standards in health and human rights, gender, and intercultural approaches.
  • Strengthen the skills of the personnel of the National Health System under the principles of confidentiality and non-revictimization.
  • Offer health professionals a tool that allows them to develop their capacities for comprehensive care in cases of gender-based violence.

Virtual Course Methodology

The virtual course has five modules. All the material has been constructed in a didactic way, with up-to-date information relevant to the national reality.

  • Module 1: Gender and gender-based violence.
  • Module 2: Comprehensive care for victims of gender-based violence, by life cycles and groups in a situation of vulnerability, mainstreaming the human mobility approach.
  • Module 3: Specific care according to the Technical Norm.
  • Module 4: Procedure for notification and referral from the National Health System to the National Justice System.
  • Module 5: Care for health teams that deal with cases of gender-based violence and serious human rights violations.

With the course, it is expected to contribute to the elimination of all forms of violence against women, boys, girls, and adolescents, fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and strengthen the gender and human rights approach in public health policies.

Scope: This course will have the capacity to reach at least 50,000 health professionals in its initial phase. Subsequently, it is planned to expand its scope to other relevant Institutions.

Today, the effort and commitment of the Ministry of Public Health – particularly from the National Directorate of Human Rights, Gender and Inclusion – for human rights materializes in this valuable tool that will promote dignified care for victims of gender-based violence.

Desirée Viteri Almeida
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