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A UNFPA supported toll-free call centre launched in Gambella Region

A toll free call centre which will be used to provide counselling on maternal and child health and to report incidents of gender-based violence perpetrated against women and children was inaugurated in the Gambella Region today. The call centre was set up at the Gambella General Hospital through the collaboration of the Gambella Region Health Bureau and UNFPA.

Speaking during the inauguration of the call center, Kiremis Lero, Director of the Women, Children and Youth Directorate with the Regional Health Bureau, said the toll free call center will be pivotal in alleviating gender-based violence against women and children and undertake an evidence based prevention effort to address the problem. She called on the community to use the call center to seek information on maternal and child health and report gender-based violence perpetrated against women and children.

The toll-free call centre was set up based on the operational guidance of WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure continuity of essential health services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic using digital platforms. Skilled health workers at the hospital will be facilitating availability of antenatal, delivery and post-natal services thereby contributing to the reduction of preventable maternal deaths during the pandemic.

Midwives and other maternal health service providers working at the Gambella General Hospital were selected and trained to provide counselling on maternal and child health and facilitate referral linkage in three local languages – Amharic, Agnuwa and Nuer – using the call center. The call center is also linked with the Gambella one-stop center to provide counselling to survivors of gender-based violence confidentially.  

The call center provides 24 hours of service and a toll free number 7999 was assigned to it by Ethio-Telecom.