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The International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) is a biennial bilingual international AIDS conference, which takes place in Africa. The 2021 edition which was convened in Durban, South Africa began on 6th December and closed on 11 December 2021. Organized by the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), UNFPA has remained a co-organizer of the conference since its inception till date. As such, the agency did not miss the opportunity to present and share its numerous innovations and learned lessons from its numerous interventions to prevent Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and assist survivors/victims, especially those living with HIV.

Presenting the topic ‘Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Ghana: What Support is Available?’, co-presenters Bisola Olapade and Mr. Faisal Bawa, programme Assistants at UNFPA Ghana, addressed issues of domestic violence, assault, rape, among other forms of abuse in Ghana. After painting an accurate picture of the situation in Ghana, they went ahead to recount the many results-achieving initiatives spear-headed and supported by UNFPA Ghana. Among other things, the presenters zeroed in on the Orange Support Centre (OSC); and innovation born out of a collaboration between UNFPA Ghana and the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGSCP). The initiative aids survivors/victims of SGBV to access efficient legal and psychosocial assistance, they are also able to receive referrals to shelters and access to a host of other services critical to responding to cases of SGBV. According to the presentation, the OSC has twelve workstations, two counseling rooms and a waiting room. Additionally, it has engaged 8,3778 people and provided 8,078 with information. Through the OSC 300 cases have been attended to with 224 still active. A total of 80 cases have been successfully closed and 21 halted due to client unresponsiveness. Emphasizing the scale and reach of the centre, the presenters mentioned that the OSC addresses cases from all over the country and affords the highest standard of confidentiality to cases concerning Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV).

After the presentation, discussions about the kind of services given to PLHIV, the day-to-day workings of the centre and the sustainability of the initiative ensued.

The session, which took place on 10th December 2021, came at an appropriate time, as it coincided with the end of the 16 days of activism against SGBV campaign.