Health workers being trained to properly collect sexual assault evidence


Healthcare workers, particularly those in emergency rooms, are being trained to properly collect sexual assault evidence as part of a collaboration among the Ministry of Health, the Canadian High Commission and the Guyana Police Force.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said this on Friday as he received 300 sexual assault evidence collection kits through Canada’s Justice Education Society (JES) project.

“When they (persons affected by sexual violence) come to our institutions, we must have adequately trained medical professionals to take the evidence and take the evidence in a format that can be used in the court of law.

“We (want to) strengthen this aspect,” Dr. Anthony said at the handing over event at his Brickdam, Georgetown office.

From left: Head of Development Cooperation at the High Commission of Canada, Adam Loyer, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony and Police Commander of the Region 4C, Assistant Commissioner Khali Pareshram (Photo: News Room/ February 9, 2024)

He also vowed that the Health Ministry would help train more medical professionals, particularly in emergency rooms nationwide, so that they are able to use these kits effectively.

Each sexual assault testing kit includes a package of items used by a medical personnel to gather and preserve physical evidence following the assault or alleged assault. It is meant to help build a case against the perpetrator without prolonging the traumatic experience.

Dr. Anthony also said forensic testing capacity in health facilities is also being developed.

The 300 kits handed over cost about $3.7 million, according to Head of Development Cooperation at the Canadian High Commission, Adam Loyer.

Additionally, the project also supports the administration of training.

Generally, the JES project aims to strengthen justice for women, girls, and indigenous peoples in Guyana through various programmes and this collaboration is the newest venture. Vulnerable groups in Regions One and Four have been targeted.

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