Gallery: Treating victims of sexual violence in Kenya

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Every month, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats some 200 new victims of sexual violence in the Mathare slums east of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. A unique programme has been put in place to treat their injuries and help them overcome this trauma.

  • Mathare slums, Nairobi
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    Corinne Torré, MSF Field coordinator in Mathare, shows the location of the slums on the eastern side of Nairobi. In Mathare, the MSF clinic called “Lavender House”, receives more than 200 new victims of sexual violence every month. The clinic is the only medical structure open 24 hours a day.
  • Former rock quarry
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    The Mathare slums lie in a former rock quarry crossed by the small and unhealthy Mathare River. It ís populated with an average 200,000 inhabitants coming from all parts of Kenya, and also with foreign communities, such as Somalis.
  • Mathare slums, Nairobi
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    Views from Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Extreme poverty
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    Poverty, high density of population and use of drugs as well as of production of Lika, brewed from sugar molasses, are exposing the local population to a high climate of violence.
  • Outreach teams
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    The outreach team visits the schools of Korogocho. On the east part of Mathare slums, this area is facing a major waste dump of East Nairobi. The inhabitants are leaving in dramatically bad social and sanitary conditions.
  • Pivotal role of teachers
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    MSF's outreach teams develop a participative animation session on the issue of sexual violence. They will urge the teachers to express what they know about this issue in their community. They will raise awareness of the teachers' key role, as community leaders and on the front line with the children, to identify signs of potential victims’ behavior.
  • Wider care
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    MSF has been treating patients since 2001 in the Blue House, in the slums. Today MSF takes care of victims of sexual crimes in the Lavender Clinic and brings medical care to MDR/TB patients in the Green House.
  • Emergency numbers
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    At the end of each session outreach teams distribute small cards and posters with the emergency phone numbers that can be used 24 hours a day to report aggression. They ensure that teachers and pupils know that every hour counts.
  • Lavender House
    Photo: Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
    Lavender House is the only medical structure open 24 hours a day welcoming victims of sexual crime in Mathare slums, in the East sides of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. An ambulance is ready to pick up the victims, 24 hours a day, close to where they have been assaulted. They are first taken care of by a community worker who reports their story. He/she carries blankets or clothes to protect them, as they are often left in a severe physical condition following an attack.

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