By Colleen Barilae – EM TV News, Lae
The Family Support Centre at Lae’s Angau Hospital has been in operation for the past 16 years, but has had to contend with a small office space.
This government agency, within the health department, has been doing its best to provide support for victims of gender-based violence.
Sister In Charge, Sr. Anastasia Wako, says the centre is struggling to operate in small rooms – an environment not conducive for patients and staff.
“It has been approved already, we’re just looking forward for a new building to replace this one we’re in now so that better service can be provided and more spaces for the survivors to sit comfortably. It takes about three-four hours to attend to a very extreme case, because when they come here we provide a more holistic approach, not only giving medical intervention…but we also explore into their mindset and see what exactly their problem is and we deal with their cases according to their needs,” Sr. Anastasia said.
The interior of the Family Support Centre Building at Lae’s Angau Hospital appears damp, as one walks in.
The roof is not properly joined together causing leakage every time it rains.
A small space caters for both patients, and survivors of violence, and the staff that work here.
Each day, the support centre records over 20 cases of family violence incidences.
As more patients go there to receive help, the rooms that are being used to perform medical checks and counseling for victims are becoming crowded.
Sr. Anastasia says during the wet seasons the waiting areas also get flooded, as there is no proper drainage surrounding the building.
The files stored in the lockers are used to help other partner organisations such as the police, or courts, pursue cases.