From Umar Dankano Yola
Dr Bala Saidu, the Chief Medical Director of North East Adamawa Government owned Specialist Hospital has raised alarm over the increasing cases of rape in the state.
Saidu raised the concern at the inauguration of a referral centre for rape victims established by the European Union (EU) and British Council in collaboration with Adamawa government.
Saidu said the hospital register an average of two rape cases daily, adding that the setting up of the centre was timely in bringing succor in areas of treatment and justice to victims who are mostly children.
Also speaking, the National Programme Manager of Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN), the NGO handling the centre on behalf of EU and British Council, Prof. Mohammed Tabiu, said the centre has been equipped with medical and IT tools to provide psycho-social, medical examination and legal aid support to survivors of sexual violence.
Tabiu said the facility would serve as a one stop shop for survivors of sexual violence to have access to full package services provided by trained nurses, doctors and counsellors.
He explained that the centre known as “Adamawa Hope Centre” would also help in providing evidence in the investigation and prosecution of rape suspects.
“The Adamawa Hope Centre is expected to address the huge gab in support services for victims of sexual assault by providing free immediate medical treatment, trauma counseling and legal advice.
“It will also provide forensic medical examination services by specially trained doctors/nurses that will prepare reports, which will be admissible as evidence in court.
“The operations of the centre will be based on victim-focused and non-judgemental approach which is critical for recovery of survivors.”
Tabiu said running of the facility would involve stakeholders like Ministry of Health, Justice, Women Affairs and Social Development as well as the Nigerian Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC)
In his remarks, the Adamawa Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr Bala Sanga, lauded the setting up of the centre which he said would facilitate the prosecution of rape suspects.