Violence against women (VAW) training piloted in Ghana among healthcare providers and students

Researchers at the University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center created a healthcare student and provider training on identification and response to intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence against women in low-to-middle-income countries. The violence against women (VAW) training was developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Johns Hopkins University, and an international advisory board. The knowledge- and skills-building training was adapted from the WHO Clinical Handbook on Health care for women subjected to IPV or sexual violence, published in 2014. The training emphasizes effective communication skills and first-line support using the LIVES response: Listen, Inquire, Validate, Enhance Safety, and Support. The training is made up of 8 modules including IPV survivor story, discussion, and role-play to simulate provider-patient interaction. The training package includes a facilitator’s guide, slides, and handouts for participants.

Dr. Vijay Singh delivered the 2-hour training to 200 1st-year medical students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) School of Medical Sciences in Kumasi, Ghana. The training was additionally delivered to 84 physicians, resident physicians, nurses, midwives, and hospital chaplain at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana. These trainings were arranged in partnership with the Ghana-Michigan Emergency Medicine Collaborative, KATH healthcare staff, and local police domestic violence unit. He delivered pre/post surveys to capture immediate effects of the training on preparation, confidence, and knowledge about identification and response to VAW. Preliminary findings indicate that after the training students and providers had increased preparation, confidence and knowledge about VAW identification and response. Feedback from participants also indicated an appreciation for survivor story, role-play active learning techniques, and a desire for additional training to build-up their skill sets. A more in-depth evaluation is underway. The results of these pilot trainings will inform revisions to the WHO VAW curriculum.

This training evaluation received funding from the WHO, U-M Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, U-M Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and Department of Emergency Medicine at U-M Medical School. Photos shown here are from the KNUST and KATH trainings.