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Event: Zero tolerance to female genital mutilation

This event is in the past.

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is 6 February every year. The United Nations Assembly designated the day with the aim to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice.

In support to highlight the day and the horrific practice of FGM, IKWRO, a London-based human rights organisation for Middle Eastern, North African and Afghan women and girls living in the UK, is hosting Zero tolerance to female genital mutilation on 5 February 2024, 2 – 5 pm, in London at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.

The event brings together experts and survivors to shed light on the challenges and gaps in safeguarding women and girls globally in the context of FGM:

  • Payzee Mahmod, Campaign Manager at IKWRO
  • Naana Otoo-Oyortey, Executive Director of FORWARD, an African diaspora women’s rights organisation in the UK
  • Mama Sylla, an FGM survivor and chairwoman of La FRATERNITE UK, a London-based registered charity
  • Shamsa Araweelo, an FGM survivor and social activist
  • Janet Fyle, Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Professional Policy Advisor and a Cardiff University School of Policy Law accredited Expert Witness
  • Jaswant Kaur Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor
  • Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D., CBE is Professor of Criminology at University of Bristol
  • Detective Superintendent Alex Castle, Metropolitan Police and Lead Responsible Officer for Harmful Practices and co-chair of the London Harmful Practice Working Group

Speakers and attendees will engage in discussions about the pressing issues surrounding FGM such as the challenges and barriers to disclosure, reporting and prosecution and explore ways to bridge the existing gaps through policy changes, community involvement and institutional improvements.

For further information on the free event and to register, please see: Zero Tolerance to FGM Conference

Or please contact VISION Senior Research Fellow, Dr Ladan Hashemi at: ladan.hashemi@city.ac.uk

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

A health perspective to the war in Israel and Palestine

Gene Feder, VISION Director and Professor of Primary Care at the University of Bristol, has written an opinion piece with colleagues commenting on events in Israel and Gaza from a public health and primary care perspective. Responding to the war in Israel and Palestine was published in December in the online edition of the British Journal of General Practice.

Gene and his colleagues are GPs working to further the development of family medicine in the occupied Palestinian territory, specifically in the West Bank, but with links to family medicine in Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and through Medical Aid for Palestinians. They also have friends and family in Israel and Palestine.

They have three responses to the current crisis as informed by their work as GPs and connection to Palestinian primary care:

  1. A plea for the protection of health care and health professionals amid the war
  2. A plea for the preservation of public health amid war
  3. A recognition that in the aftermath of October 7th and the invasion of Gaza, the widespread direct and vicarious trauma in Israeli and Palestinian populations will result in permanent physical and emotional damage: the former in the shape of orthopaedic, neurological, and gynaecological (as a result of rape) harm, the latter in the form of widespread anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder which will also cascade down the generations.

Given VISION’s commitment to developing evidence on violence prevention, we will be organising roundtable meetings bringing together researchers focusing on post-conflict violence reduction. This is an opportunity for dialogue, perhaps leading to new perspectives and research including systematic assessment of sustainable post-conflict interventions as well as further joint activities.

For further information on the opinion piece, please see: Responding to the war in Israel and Palestine

Photograph by Emad El Byed on Unsplash

Making change happen in primary care: the story of IRIS

VISION Director and Professor of Primary Care at the University of Bristol Medical School, Gene Feder, was a keynote speaker at the webinar: Making change happen in primary care – The IRIS story, on 28 November 2023.

With his co-presenter, Medina Johnson, CEO of IRIS, they shared the story of the concept and ambition that led to the beginning of the social enterprise established in 2017 to promote and improve the healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse (DVA).

DVA is a violation of human rights that damages the health of women and families. The health care sector, including primary care, has been slow to respond to the needs of patients affected by DVA, not least because of uncertainty about the effectiveness of training clinicians in identification and engagement with survivors of abuse.

To address that uncertainty, Gene and Medina conducted a cluster-randomised trial in Hackney and Bristol, finding that both identification and referral to specialist DVA services substantially increased in the intervention practices.

In the webinar they mapped the (not always smooth) trajectory from trial results to a nationally available programme commissioned by Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and local authorities in over 50 areas to date, including getting into guidelines/policy, further implementation research, negotiating with commissioners, and setting up a social enterprise (IRISi) to drive the scaling up of the intervention.

For further information please watch the webinar video below.

For any questions or comments, please contact IRISi at info@irisi.org

Community mental health through a complex systems lens

Researchers tend to evaluate the mental health effects of national trends and policies or of individual-level treatments and interventions. In The Lancet Public Health, VISION members Dr Olumide Adisa and Sally McManus argue that researchers also need to take account of what is happening at the local level.

Complex systems can be challenging both to action and evaluation. But it also offers a new way of thinking about real-life problems as experienced by diverse populations within local ecosystems. Olumide and Sally comment on a study by Tanith Rose and colleagues which shows that local economic and procurement strategies are a part of this complex system with implications for community health. Rose and colleagues show how local systems that are people-centred, redirect wealth back into the local economy, and give control and benefits to local people and institutions have the potential to improve health and reducing inequalities in a relatively short time.

A decade ago, statutory duties for public health moved from the National Health Service to local authorities, local authorities subsequently saw their budgets reduced. Finding ways to transition to a wellbeing economy through transforming local systems therefore needs multiple local partners, including employers, health and care institutions, specialist and police services, and public and not-for-profit organisations.  

The VISION consortium is developing ways to apply complex systems thinking to reducing violence and health inequalities, taking an intersectional and intersectoral approach that includes activities at the local level.

For further information please see: Community mental health through a complex systems lens – The Lancet Public Health

For more information, contact VISION lead on complex systems approach, Dr Olumide Adisa, o.adisa@uos.ac.uk

Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash