The Edo state government has appointed a new acting Coordinator for its Sexual Assault Referral Centre, in the state capital, Benin City, named after the late teenage victim of rape, Vivian Ugu.
She is Dr. Georgina Eromosele, a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, medical school, with a Masters degree in Public Health from the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, who was most recently a Senior Medical Officer at Central Hospital, Benin City.
Dr. Eromosele who has earlier served as Head of the District Hospital, Ekiadolor, is a Member of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, and was Secretary General, Association of Resident Doctors, Edo State HMB chapter, before her appointment.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eromosele, who is assuming office this week, has enjoined residents of the state to support the efforts of the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence including rape and domestic violence.
Such support according to her, must be by way of prompt reporting of all incidents of sexual and gender-based violence
as soon as they happen to law enforcement agencies.
Thereafter parents, guardians or relatives can get victims to avail themselves of medical and sundry services at the center.
Responding to journalists, the young, strong and vibrant Dr. Eromosele, assured residents of prompt response at the center, 24/7.
She said that the state government adequately equipped it to cater for the needs of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and that “a 24/7 telephone helpline would soon be opened at the Centre and made available to the public for prompt, secure and unhindered reporting of sexual assault and gender based violence. And every help we render to victims is completely free of charge from start to finish.”
She re-echoed Governor Obaseki’s rationale for setting up the center, when he launched the Edo State Sex Offenders’ Register, last year, while charging prosecutors to prioritize all cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the state.
Dr. Eromosele also said that Governor Obaseki and his wife, Betsy, are very passionate about addressing the rising incidence of sexual violence in the state hence the register, “…to name and shame rapists and those who commit other gender-based crimes” as the governor said.
She confirmed that the Edo State Government would be establishing branches of the Centre in all the local government areas of the state, across the three senatorial districts, “to accentuate the seriousness of this government about this consequential issue, especially rape and defilement”.
She concluded that the Vivian Centre is one of a kind in the country and is well positioned, “… to serve as a safe environment where survivors are given all the required care and support they need including medical examination, screening and preventive treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections”.
She added that, “the collection of forensic evidence, as well as the screening for drugs where the use of stupefying substances is suspected are also part of the Centre’s tasks”.