Women on radiotherapy or chemotherapy in our cancer clinics have continued to report sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by their partners largely because of reduced libido and vaginal dryness. Currently, there is no sexual counseling and therapy model for married and unmarried individuals diagnosed with cancer despite the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on women’s sexual health.
What are we doing about it?
Healthy People Rwanda is undertaking a project aimed at reducing SGBV against women’s cancer patients and survivors by implementing a novel sexual counseling and therapy model dubbed “LUBRICATE”. The aforementioned model encompasses developing a key resource package, healthcare providers training, promoting access to lubricants, and connecting women cancer patients and their partners to trained providers. Gender transformative approaches will be employed across intervention components to provide opportunities for individuals to actively challenge gender norms and the social positioning of women to identify ways to address inequities between persons of different genders leading to less emotional, sexual, and physical violence.
The project is being implemented in partnership with six major hospitals in Rwanda.