Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

The Ethiopian country office of the World Health Organization (WHO Ethiopia) has taken a significant step towards addressing workplace harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in the health sector. 

In line with this, WHO Ethiopia successfully conducted three sessions of Training of Trainers (ToT) on National Health Sector Prevention and Response to Workplace Harassment and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (NHS-PRWPH&SEA) guidelines.

These groundbreaking training sessions, the first of their kind in the respective regions, were held in three regions of Ethiopia, namely Tigray, Benishangul Gumuz, and Gambella. A total of 73 trainers, carefully selected from Regional Health Bureaus, hospitals, universities/health colleges, and primary health care units participated in the ToT course.

Following the training, 64 trainers were deemed eligible and certified to cascade the knowledge acquired to the health workforce in their respective regions. WHO played a pivotal role in supporting the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (MOH) from the initial stages of developing the NHS-PRWPH&SEA guideline, including the creation of training materials. 

WHO also took the lead in providing both technical and financial support for the Training of Trainers course, aiming to contribute to tackling the critical issues of workplace harassment and SEA within the health sector.

“Throughout the training series, collaboration and consultation were key elements. MOH, WHO, and the respective Regional Health Bureau authorities actively participated in discussions on how to effectively cascade the training and address potential challenges” Dr. Fikir Melesse, WHO Ethiopia’s Program Management Officer&Focal point for Gender, Equity, Human Rights and Disability inclusion (GERD) indicated.

The commitment obtained from these stakeholders reinforces the guidelines for the national workplace harassment, mandating each member of the health workforce to be certified, contributing to creating a workplace free from violence and ensuring safety.

“WHO Ethiopia’s initiative marks a significant milestone for fostering a healthier and safer work environment within the Ethiopian health sector. The organization’s commitment to addressing workplace harassment and SEA not only reflects its dedication to the well-being of healthcare professionals but also sets a precedent for future initiatives in promoting a culture of respect and safety within workplaces”, Dr. Fikir Melesse added.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Ethiopia.

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