The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 billion children worldwide, between the ages of two and 17, experience some form of violent abuse, which is defined as, physical, sexual, or emotional aggression. Those who experienced the most severe forms of violence in the past year is estimated to be at least 64% of children in Asia, 56% in Northern America, 50% in Africa, 34% in Latin America, and 12% in Europe. Abuse ranges in forms of neglect, domestic violence, peer bullying, sexual assault, malnourishment, and deprivation. These experiences can lead to life-altering injuries or death, behavioral & coping difficulties, physical challenges, and other forms of impairments to a child’s development. According to a UNICEF article, “Similarly, a wide range of perpetrators commit violence against children, such as family members, intimate partners, teachers, neighbors, strangers, and other children.” Although the problem is pervasive and a seemingly uncontrollable epidemic, evidence shows that the prevention of child abuse is possible given proper attention and resources.
The annual International Symposium on Child Abuse is a forum where necessary focus and conversations are held in an attempt to address the daunting task of ending child abuse on a global scale. Child Advocates speak about a wide range of topics including, the need to improve healthcare & education systems, facilitating forensic interviews with child exploitation victims, supporting families of victims, establishing improved outreach programs, empowering adults with tools on how to communicate with children, and conversations with survivors about their experiences. Organizations invested in seeing changes in the current environment are afforded the opportunity to share the tools they have developed to bring this change to fruition.
Image from the 39th International Symposium on Child Abuse in Huntsville, AL.
MedGyn representative, Larry Dolendi, attended the 39th ISCA in March of 2023. Larry performed several demos each day while meeting with other vendors, some of whom showcased clothing and jewelry made by survivors. He also led discussions with other medical product manufacturers and individuals interested in hearing about MedGyn’s image and data management software. The topic of advocacy and mental health was prominent throughout the conference, therefore many questions were directed toward the forensic exam program, user experiences, benefits, and the potential utilization of the program in future cases. Having the opportunity to hear firsthand how MedGyn’s AL-106 Colposcope assists in prosecution cases on behalf of victims, was rewarding and educational for the entire team.
Image of the MedGyn booth at the 39th International Symposium on Child Abuse.
Dr. Paulett Diah (Audrey Hepburn Children’s House) reviewed MedGyn’s Digital Video Colposcope: “Due to the AL-106 model’s enhanced resolution, greater magnification and superior picture quality the caliber of anatomical detailed observed results in an easier differential diagnostic process. The mechanical functions of the AL-106 are user friendly and fingertips ready. Most of our younger patients appear less apprehensive towards this model’s slimline appearance in contrast to our older bulkier colposcope. This readier acceptance translates into a more fluid examination process.”
MedGyn’s role in the global effort to end child abuse is to utilize our product line strengths while addressing this critical issue. Keeping in line with our company ethos, optimism and hard work will guarantee success and progress, regardless of concerning statistics. With this goal in mind, we are all capable of seeing positive change.
(Resources: World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Health, UNICEF)